Just when you thought the soap opera that is the Sacramento Kings couldn’t get any more weird.
Reports leaked this weekend that the Maloof family who currently owns the Sacramento franchise had agreed to a “backup” deal with the Seattle based Hansen-Ballmer group, with whom they had already agreed to sell their 65% stake in the franchise to. The report stated that if the NBA was to reject the sale of the 65% as many have expected, that they would sell 20% of the franchise to the Hansen-Ballmer group, allowing H&B to become minority owners while the Maloof family continues to operate the franchise. Why would they do this? Simple. Once the Hansen-Ballmer group becomes minority owners, they then are free to buy and sale percentages of the franchise without NBA approval which would eventually lead to the Kings franchise relocating to Seattle.
The only problem? Like the 65% before it, the 20% deal would still take NBA approval and the NBA doesn’t appear willing to allow the Kings to relocate – at least, not at this moment.
So the Maloof family held fast and attempted to strong arm the NBA by saying that they would not negotiate with the Sacramento based investor group attempting to keep the Kings local.
Except, that apparently isn’t the case.
Reports from multiple sources this morning, including USA Today’s Sam Amick, are saying that the Maloof family continues to talk with the Sacramento based investor group, despite their previous comments that they wouldn’t.
A perception v. reality addendum: to make assumption that Maloofs & Sacramento side are at stand-still without communication would be wrong
In addition, the Sacramento Bee chimed in as well:
Still, should the NBA reject the deals on the table with Hansen, the source said the Maloofs have not ruled out a Ranadive offer.