If you haven’t figured it out by now, the Maloof family, which owns and operates the Sacramento Kings (at least for a few more days, at the minimum) are terrible people.
After sneaking out in the cover of night to sell the Kings franchise to a Seattle based group (after foot stomping that the team was not for sale and that they were committed to Sacramento), they have agreed to another deal with the Seattle based Hansen-Ballmer group in case their sale is declined by the NBA this coming week.
The NBA’s Board of Governors has already declined the potential relocation of the Kings franchise to Seattle and it is expected that they were to decline the sale when they meet this coming Wednesday, May 15th, due to the Hansen-Ballmer groups desire to move the franchise. The NBA clearly doesn’t want to be stuck in a lame duck situation and with a Sacramento based investment group willing to keep the franchise local, the NBA would prefer the Maloof family sell to them.
Except the Maloof family refuses, at least, so they say.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN is reporting that not only will the Maloof family refuse to sell to the Sacramento group, they have agreed to a backup deal that would only sell 20% of the franchise to the Hansen-Ballmer group, making them minority owners that later could take control of the franchise (making a relocation easier).
Two sources told ESPN.com the Maloofs have informed their fellow owners that if their deal to sell and relocate the Kings to Seattle is not approved by league owners next week, they will not sell the team to a Sacramento-based group that promises to keep the Kings in Sacramento.
Instead, the cash-strapped Maloofs have made a “backup” agreement with the Hansen-Ballmer group to sell them 20 percent of the team for $125 million to allow the Maloofs to continue to operate the franchise.
That new “backup” plan comes on the heels of Hansen’s announcement on Friday that he had upped his offer to buy the Maloofs’ 65 percent of the Kings to $409 million (from $358 million) for a total valuation of $625 million.
Unfortunately for the Maloof family, “new” owners must be approved by the league. So while minority owners are free to purchase/sell stakes of the team between themselves once approved, the NBA would need to approve the sale of the 20% stake just as they would have to do for the originally intended sale of 65%.