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Report: Maloofs Have Backup Plan to Take Seattle Money But Retain Control of Kings

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(Sacramento, CA)
Saturday, May 11, 2013
If the report is true, it would seem the Maloof family has every intent of removing the Sacramento Kings from the city the team has called home for 28 years.

Two sources told ESPN.com the Maloofs will not sell the team to a group that wants to keep the Kings in Sacramento and help build a downtown arena.

The Maloofs have made a separate agreement with Chris Hansen, Steve Ballmer and the Nordstrom family that makes up the Seattle investors besides an earlier agreement to sell all of the Maloof shares. The sale of 20 percent of the team would allow the Maloofs to continue to run the franchise.

Sources told ESPN that the new agreement also includes a $4 million payment to each team in the form of a relocation fee. 

The report comes a day after Hansen announced an increase in the total valuation of the franchise, and the agreed purchase price to the Maloof family and Robert Hernreich for their 65-percent stake in the team.

Hansen has also made a request to buy a seven-percent minority share of the team. But, the National Basketball Association has not voted on that request. 

The league's owners are expected to vote on the Hansen bid for the majority shares on Wednesday. The owners can block a relocation and a sale of a team. But, they can not directly force a fellow owner to sell to any particular group.

The Sacramento group has put half of its $341 million bid in escrow. It has not matched either of the Seattle group's bid increases since the Hansen-Ballmer group originally announced it had a deal to buy control of the team in January.

Two weeks ago, an NBA relocation committee recommended against moving the Sacramento franchise. An owner on that committee, Micky Arison tweeted that the decision was not based on the Seattle group's bid, but rather on Sacramento providing no reason to move the team.

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