Despite an improved offer from a group of Seattle investors to purchase the Sacramento Kings, the NBA relocation committee has not changed its position and is still recommending that the team be kept in Sacramento, ESPN.com reported Monday. A final full vote is expected at the owners' meetings Wednesday in Dallas, and they seldom go against the committee's recommendation. The relocation and finance committee, which is made up of 12 of the NBA owners, held a teleconference Monday to consider the changing situation. But, according to the report, which is based on sources, it has decided to stand pat on its recommendation, which was made two weeks ago. However, the ownership of the team remains unfinished business. The Maloof family currently owns the Kings, and the Maloofs have told the league they don't intend to sell the team to a group led by Silicon Valley billionaire Vivek Ranadive, even if the move to Seattle is blocked. Ranadive has worked with NBA commissioner David Stern to keep the Kings in Sacramento and build a new arena there. Last week, Seattle group lead investor Chris Hansen increased his offer for 65 percent of the Kings to a record $409 million from $358 million. He also offered a relocation fee payout of $4 million per team for a total of about $116 million. The Maloofs told fellow owners if the team is not allowed to move to Seattle, they would sell a 20 percent share to Hansen's group and keep controlling interest in the team. That type of sale would have to be approved by 75 percent of the owners. The NBA office negotiated a backup deal with Ranadive. It includes a purchase price of $341 million for the Kings.
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- Sacramento Kings