Burkle, who made his fortune in supermarkets, and at least two other wealthy potential investors have been in talks with the City of Sacramento about buying the 65 percent of the team currently owned by the Maloof family and Colorado businessman Robert Hernreich.
The majority owners have already agreed to sell their shares to a group of Seattle investors. But, the NBA may side with Sacramento if an ownership group can match or come very close to the Seattle offer. New buyers must also agree to keep the team in Sacramento, and participate in the construction of a new downtown arena.
Kings minority owner Bob Cook will have his shares auctioned off this spring, but he is trying to keep the team in Sacramento. Cook has told multiple media outlets that he has contacted a Bay Area attorney to facilitate a meeting between Oracle founder Larry Ellison and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.
Ellison has attempted to purchase three NBA teams -Charlotte, Memphis, and Golden State in the past two years.
Mayor Johnson was asked Thursday if Ellison had had any contact with the City. Johnson said, "I don't want to get all in to whom all we spoke to or whose bids that we're entertaining at this point. I feel like it's my responsibility to protect their interests. As I said yesterday, we're making very good progress and every discussion is very serious and I do believe we will be in position next week to unveil who the two big or three or four that we've been looking at over time and who ultimately we're going to go forward with."