NBA Poised to Return to Seattle

Sacramento Kings set to be next SuperSonics
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 22, 2013 8:27 AM CST
In this June 14, 2012, file photo, investor Chris Hansen smiles as he speaks to supporters of a proposal for a new NBA arena during a rally in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

(Newser) – Looks like the SuperSonics are ready to return. The Sacramento Kings are close to inking a deal to move to Seattle as the Sonics; they just need the approval of the NBA Board of Governors, the AP reports. The Maloof family is ready to sell a 65% stake in the Kings to a Seattle group. Investor Chris Hansen's organization will pay $340 million in the deal, insiders say. It leaves the Maloofs with no stake in the $525 million team.

That valuation sets a record for an NBA team sale, beating a $450 million deal for the Golden State Warriors. While the family will get a $30 million down payment on Feb. 1, they can entertain other offers until the NBA backs the deal. The new SuperSonics would play in Seattle's KeyArena for the next two seasons; after that, they'd get their own building. Sacramento has a chance to make its own offer to NBA owners to keep the team, but success looks unlikely, the AP notes.

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