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Maloofs Strike Backup Deal with Seattle Group – ESPN


On the heels of news that the Maloof brothers upped their bid by $75 million Friday, a new report reportedly shows how the Maloofs will refuse to sell the team to Sacramento.

According to an ESPN article released Saturday that cited two anonymous sources, the Maloofs have made a backup deal with the Hansen-Ballmer group, should the earlier deal be rejected by the NBA’s Board of Governors.

The Seattle ownership group, led by investor Chris Hansen, announced Friday morning they are voluntarily increasing their proposed purchase price to $625 million. The new deal would reportedly sell 20% of the Kings to the Hansen-Ballmer group, leaving the Maloofs as majority owners, according to ESPN.

The report has not been confirmed by either the Maloofs, the Seattle group, or the NBA. But, if it’s true, it’s the one trump card the Maloofs may have to force the league to approve a Kings move to Seattle.

If the backup deal takes place, the Maloofs would sell the 20% minority stake for $125 million. They would then continue to operate the Kings while Hansen and Ballmer put pressure on the City of Sacramento to execute an arena deal. If a deal can’t be reached, the Maloofs could again apply for relocation.

Local reaction to the report quickly admonished the Maloofs.

The board of governors will be meeting in Dallas next week to talk about league issues, including the fate of the Sacramento Kings. The league’s relocation committee said recently they support keeping the team in Sacramento.

FOX40’s Jim Crandell will be in Dallas next week to report the latest on the decision.

Mark Demsky and Cecilio Padilla contributed to this report.