Vivek Ranadive and Kevin Johnson at a press conference in April (Jesse D. Garrabrant/ Getty).
One day after the NBA's Board of Governors voted against a sale to an ownership group that would turned the Sacramento Kings into a new incarnation of the Seattle SuperSonics, it appears that the franchise will stay in its current home over the long term. As first reported by The Sacramento Bee and later confirmed by several outlets on Thursday night, Joe and Gavin Maloof have reached an agreement to sell the Kings to a local ownership group headed by tech executive Vivek Ranadive.
Antonio Gonzalez of the Associated Press has more details:
A person familiar with the deal says the Maloof family has reached an agreement with a Sacramento group headed by TIBCO software tycoon Vivek Ranadive to sell a 65 percent controlling interest in the Kings at a total franchise valuation of $535 million.
The person, speaking on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press late Thursday night because they weren't authorized to talk publicly, said there are about 30 investors in the group put together by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former All-Star guard.
An official announcement is expected Friday. The NBA is expected to officially approve the agreement next week. The person said the agreement has to be closed by May 31.
At various points in this process, the Maloofs expressed no interest in dealing with the group led by Ranadive and organized by Johnson, instead claiming that they had a backup offer in place with Seattle bid leader Chris Hansen for a minority stake in the franchise. However, that situation changed once the NBA voted down the Seattle sale on Wednesday. NBA Commissioner David Stern stated that he expected talks between the Maloofs and Ranadive to begin within 48 hours, and that appears to have happened.
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