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Owners prepare to vote on Kings relocation

The SportsXchange

An NBA owner told CBS Sports Friday night that the dueling offers to buy the Sacramento Kings could go either way as the league prepares to vote on which one to approve.

NBA owners requested more information before they vote on whether to support a proposal to keep the team in Sacramento or another that will move it to Seattle.

The 12-owner committee will meet late next week to vote on a recommendation. Then, the Board of Governors (one ownership representative from each of the 30 teams) will have at least seven business days to review the recommendation and vote on it.

"I think it's 50-50," one owner said. "I think it could go either way."

Commissioner David Stern told reporters that the biggest concern is which city has the best chance of getting a new arena built.

The Maloof family, which owns the Kings, has an agreement to sell the team to a Seattle group. An investment group in Sacramento that would keep the team there made a counter offer to buy the team, matching the Seattle offer.

However, the Seattle group, led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen, upped recently its offer to $357 million.

The Sacramento group is led by billionaire software magnate Vivek Ranadive.

The league would like to solve the ownership issue before the May 21 lottery draft so it is clear which city the team represents. A vote could come as soon as May 6.

"It's the only time in the last ... 47 years that I haven't known the answer," Stern said. "This is one that's just been quite difficult and confusing for the owners as well."

The league's first order of business is voting on whether or not to allow the team to relocate, Stern said.

If the owners reject relocation, they would in essence reject the Seattle group's offer.

Stern said the Sacramento group's offer is "binding" and includes a down payment.

"We have had assurances of funding support and that has been documented to something in the neighborhood of 80 percent to our satisfaction," the commissioner said. "When I say satisfaction, the committee's satisfaction. But it's in the ballpark, and it's there."

But one owner told CBS Sports that he is not convinced that the Sacramento group can come up with enough money.

"The question about Sacramento is, can they come up with the money?" the owner said. "It's kind of like, 'The check's in the mail.' That's not good enough. The check's got to arrive."
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