The Maloof family reached an agreement to sell a 65 percent controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings in a deal valued at $525 million, league sources told ESPN.
The family who owns the NBA team settled an agreement with a Seattle group led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. NBA teams were notified of the agreement Sunday night and the parties settled on a purchase agreement, though it still requires league approval.
The 65 percent controlling interest the Maloof family is selling represents the 53 percent owned by the Maloofs and an additional 12 percent from minority owner Bob Hernreich, The remaining 35 percent of the franchise has not been agreed upon yet, which is owned by minority shareholders and not the Maloofs.
The deal asks for a non-refundable $30 million deposit from the Seattle group to the Maloof family by Feb. 1, sources close to the proceedings revealed to the sports network.
Sources added that the Maloofs are expected to keep a small percentage of the team but will have no input in any future deals or proceedings within the franchise.
The new owners hope to relocate the team to Seattle for the 2013-14 playing season, Yahoo! Sports reported earlier in January. League sources said the plan is for the Kings to play two seasons in KeyArena before moving into a new Seattle arena, The owners also plan to renamed the team back to the SuperSonics. When owner Clay Bennett moved the Sonics from Seattle to Oklahoma City in 2008, her left behind the name and the logos.
Sacramento is not giving up the team that easily, however. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson revealed last week that he got approval from NBA commissioner David Stern to present a counteroffer to the league from buyers hoping to keep the team in Sacramento.