Report: Conference call briefs NBA relocation committee on Kings to Seattle deal

The terms of a deal between the Maloof family and the Chris Hansen/Steve Ballmer group have been outlined to the NBA relocation committee according to Yahoo! Sports.  Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the relocation board, led by Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett, was briefed on “a non-binding set of deal points” in a conference call last week.

The call took place on Tuesday – one day before Yahoo! Sports reported the finalizing of a deal – and informed several league owners that the Hansen-Ballmer Seattle group would purchase 65 percent of the Kings, sources said. The league office told members of the relocation committee that the non-binding agreement would constitute 53 percent of the franchise owned by the Maloof family and an additional 12 percent from minority owner Bob Hernreich.

The sale price of $525 million is considered an overall valuation of the franchise.

The committee is compromised of several NBA owners, including committee chair Clay Bennett of Oklahoma City.

The Maloofs are reportedly trying to negotiate a way to keep a minority interest in the franchise following the sale.  Last week, the Seattle Times reported that the family wanted to maintain a say in the team’s direction as part of the deal.

They’ve also arranged for a cash call, according to David Aldridge of NBA.com, to raise capital as a means of paying off some of their debts.  A cash call is a request from majority stakeholders to their shareholders to provide them with more money.

Meanwhile, Aldridge’s colleague  Scott-Howard Cooper shared today that there seems to be “no indication around the league” that Mayor Kevin Johnson has reached out to the NBA’s Board of Governors to begin mustering support for Sacramento.  However, he has been in direct contact with the league office and Commissioner David Stern.

If it comes down to the BOG, Johnson would be asking owners to ignore all that to believe Sacramento can match the past of 10 years ago, when the California capital was an example of what the NBA wanted in excitement and fan support. He would be asking them to turn down a city most everyone would want back in the NBA on the speculation of what might happen in a city that at the moment cannot say who will own the team, where it will play and where the money will come from if Johnson does get a group to make a credible bid for the Kings.

If the Seattle deal falls through and the Maloofs end up selling to owners who want to keep the team in Sacramento, Johnson’s BOG problem goes away. If not, though, KJ needs to have done some serious lobbying with the owners.

On the bright side for the passionate Sacramento faithful, Johnson has a very good start. His work the last few years on the task has won a lot of praise around the league from powerful people who mostly knew him only as a point guard for the Suns.

As customary in this saga, there’s surely more to come.

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