Kings move to Seattle a done deal

Kings move to Seattle a done deal
January 11, 2013, 11:00 am
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For the Kings to play in Seattle next year, a deal would have to come together by March 1. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

A source familiar with the negotiations between the Sacramento Kings and an ownership group led by Seattle investor Chris Hansen said Friday that a deal between the sides has been struck.

The source said that Hansen will buy the team from the Maloofs, the Kings’ owners, for approximately $525 million, which would be the highest amount ever paid for an NBA team.

An announcement on the deal could come as early as next week. Yahoo! Sports first reported talks between the Kings and Hansen on Wednesday, saying that the sides were finalizing a deal and categorizing the status of the sale as “first and goal at the 1.” The Seattle Times reported on Thursday that the possible deal had hit a snag because the Maloofs still wanted some kind of stake in the new franchise.< The source familiar with the negotiations said the Maloofs will not be a part of the new ownership group or front office.

[REWIND: Report -- Maloofs finalizing deal to send Kings to Seattle]

The Maloofs have owned the Kings since 1998, and oversaw the greatest era in Sacramento basketball history. The Kings made the playoffs for eight consecutive seasons, beginning in 1998, including one trip to the Western Conference finals and three trips to the Western Conference semifinals.

The deal will almost assuredly usher in a new era of basketball in Seattle. The Sonics moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City in 2008 after playing in Seattle for 40 years.

Conventional wisdom is that NBA commissioner David Stern, who is retiring in 2014, wanted to find a team for Seattle before his commissionership was through.

The $525 million price-tag for the Kings dwarfs what the Warriors sold for a little more than two years ago. The reported sale price of the Warriors to Joe Lacob was $450 million. But numerous sources have put the actual sales price of the Warriors in 2010 at $428 million.