UPDATE: Reports are now coming in that the Kings to Seattle deal has been finalized and an official announcement is expected later this week or next week.
CSNBayArea.com is reporting that the sale of the Sacramento Kings to Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer has been agreed upon and is finalized. Hansen will reportedly pay $525m to the Maloof family for the Kings, which may retain the brothers in an small ownership role, but not in a capacity to help run the team.
The $525m sale would easily break the record spent on an NBA franchise, $450m, which was paid for the Golden State Warriors in 2010. Some sources actually have stated that the final closing price of the Warrior sale was $428m, which would make the Kings sale $93m higher.
The Maloofs have owned the Kings since 1998 and if the sale is completed, will take the only pro sports franchise out of Sacramento. It is necessary to be cautious however as the Maloof’s have a history and reputation of pulling out of agreed upon deals. An arena deal was agreed to with the NBA and the Kings before the brothers decided it was not in the best interest of the team to go forward.
Just 48 hours ago the deal was reported to be “first and goal on the one” with a sales price of $500m. Waiting two days has raised the offer up $25m and it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities to see the Maloof’s try and bring in other potential buyers to start and even larger bidding war.
The owner of 24-hour-fitness, Mark Mastrov, has already publicly commented on wanting to purchase the Kings and keep the team in Sacramento. Mastrov’s value is estimated at $350m, so he alone would not be able to pull off such a move. Rich people tend to have rich friends however so he should be taken somewhat seriously as a potential threat to slow down the process and give the Maloof’s something to think about.