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NBA to vote on future of Sacramento Kings today

4:44 AM, May 15, 2013   |    comments
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The NBA Board of Governors is poised to vote on the future of the Sacramento Kings Wednesday afternoon at a meeting in Dallas, Texas.

Last week, the board's relocation committee voted unanimously to recommend to not approve the team's relocation to Seattle. The board of governors is expected to vote along the committee's recommendation.

The NBA's Board of Governors is also expected to vote on whether or not to approve the sale of the team to the Seattle group.

Sacramento Kings majority owners, the Maloof family, want to sell their share of the team to a Seattle ownership group, led by San Francisco hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, which would move the team to Seattle. However, a Sacramento ownership group, led by Bay Area software tycoon Vivek Ranadive, made a counteroffer to buy and keep the Kings in the city. Along with the counteroffer, a Sacramento investor group put together a plan to build a new entertainment and sports complex in downtown Sacramento to house the Kings.

Originally, the Maloof family agreed to a deal with the Seattle investment group, which would purchase the Kings for $525 million. The NBA allowed Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson to be given the opportunity to find an investment group that would match the Seattle offer, as well as develop a new arena plan.

Since then, the Hansen-Ballmer group has offered to increase their original bid to $625 million, based on total team valuation.  It is unclear whether the Sacramento group will have to match that increased bid since NBA Commissioner David Stern has stated publicly that there would not be a bidding war for the Kings.

While the board of governors can reject the team's relocation, forcing the Maloofs to sell to the Ranadive group is not something that can be accomplished as easily.  

According to sourced reports last weekend, if the league does not approve the $625 million sale to the Seattle group, the Maloofs would consider selling 20 percent of their share of the Kings to Hansen and Ballmer. This would allow the Maloof family to continue to operate the team in Sacramento, in Sleep Train Arena as the team's majority owners.

On Tuesday, George Maloof claimed if a minority share of the team was sold to Hansen and Ballmer, they would work in good faith to try to build a new arena in Sacramento.  That scenario is unlikely to be approved by the NBA, especially if they vote against a Seattle majority share.

Maloof said Tuesday he has only met Ranadive once, and still hasn't talked to Sacramento ownership group.

"If it's only a matter of a few million, that's one thing." Maloof said. "But if the offers are far apart, it's a different story."

Maloof said the future of the Kings will not be decided during Wednesday's NBA Board of Governors meeting. He said there might be some sort of resolution, but not everything will be decided.

News10/KXTV

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