Sacramento Kings May 2013After months of uncertainty of where the Sacramento Kings would end up, it’s been reported that the Maloof family, the team’s owners, have agreed to keep the club in Sacramento. This comes following an NBA announcement that permission to relocate the team to Seattle, Washington was denied by a league committee.

The Maloofs will sell their controlling interest to an investment group headed by Vivek Ranadive. Reports also stated that the franchise has been evaluated at $535 million, an NBA record.

The Maloofs had originally agreed to sell their portion of the team in January to a Seattle group led by Chris Hansen. The evaluation of the club back then was $525 million.

Hansen’s group wanted to move the franchise to Seattle and recently raised their bid on a club evaluation of $625 million. The Maloofs appear to be getting quite a deal since the franchise was valued at just $300 million in January of 2012 by Forbes magazine. The franchise originally relocated from Kansas City to Sacramento in 1985 with the Maloofs taking control of the majority of shares in 1999.

The Maloofs have made no secret that they would have preferred to sell their shares to the Seattle group, but they were backed into a corner when David Stern, the league commissioner, said the NBA’s Board of Governors rejected a move to Seattle by a 22-8 vote. Stern said the NBA wanted to keep the team in Sacramento as long as the ownership group that offered the deal was strong and a new arena could be built.

George Maloof said he doesn’t have a problem with the team staying in Sacramento if that’s what the league has decided. He added that he felt some loyalty to the Seattle group, though because it stepped up its offer. He also stated that Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA player, did a great job of putting together an investment group to keep the franchise in his city.

The deal that was announced in January would have seen the Maloofs sell 65-percent of the franchise to the Seattle investors with the club evaluated at a total of $525 million. The group then filed paperwork with the NBA to have permission to relocate the club to Seattle in time for the start of the 2013-14 basketball season.

The franchise would have been called the SuperSonics, which was the name of the former Seattle NBA franchise. The SuperSonics left town in 2008 and relocated to Oklahoma to become the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Hansen and the Seattle group raised their offer to the Maloofs shortly before the NBA voted on the relocation issue. The group said it would pay for the shares based on a $625 million evaluation of the franchise. Reports then said the Maloofs agreed to sell 20-percent of the team to Hansen for $125 million if the NBA refused to allow it to move to Seattle.

The Sacramento group have worked hard to keep the club where it is and have promised to build a brand new arena for it to play out of. Those plans may soon be put into action and construction on a new venue could begin before the year is out.

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