It's finally over! The Maloofs agree to sell Sacramento Kings for a record price
At a press conference at 10 am local time, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson announced what was reported last night, that the Sacramento group cultivated by Johnson and led by Vivek Ranadive will purchase the Kings from the Maloofs.
The Ranadive group is expected to purchase 65 percent of the team, worth $347 million based off of the record setting $535 million valuation but Mayor Johnson said he could not comment on the exact details of the agreement.
It has also been reported that the Ranadive group will take over the Maloof family's debt to the city and have agreed not to be recipients in the NBA's revenue sharing program.
Ranadive, a Silicon Valley mogul and minority owner of the Warriors, will relinquish his stake in the Warriors and take control of the Kings when escrow closes at the end of May.
The Sacramento proposal beat out a Seattle bid led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer that was seen as a better offer based on a $625 million franchise valuation. The Maloofs originally agreed to the Hansen-Ballmer offer of $525 million, but the Seattle group upped their valuation first to $550 million then to $625 million as Sacramento gained momentum prior to the NBA Board of Governors vote.
NBA owners and various sources have said that the Sacramento offer was chosen over the superior Seattle deal because the city of Sacramento had done everything it was asked to keep the team and that the vote was more about what Sacramento had accomplished than comparing the two offers to each other. The decision to veto relocation was a statement of confidence in the city's viability as an NBA market.
The decision was a blow to Seattle, which lost its team in 2008 and was hoping to bring basketball back for the 2013-14 season but will now have to wait and hope for another team to relocate or an expansion team.
Several owners and commissioner David Stern have stated that bringing the NBA back to Seattle through expansion will be discussed when the new TV deal is negotiated, a process that could begin after this season ends.