NBA Poised to Return to Seattle

Sacramento Kings set to be next SuperSonics

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 22, 2013 8:27 AM CST

(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.

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.
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)
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