According to the Sacramento Bee, a Sacramento group will notify the NBA today that it will match the offer of a Seattle group for the Kings.
— Ryan Lillis (@Ryan_Lillis) April 12, 2013
The current controlling owners, the Maloof family, had set a deadline of 5 p.m. today for the Sacramento group to match the offer it agreed to in January from a Seattle group, which was $340 million for 65 percent of the team, based on a total valuation of $525 million.
It was learned Thursday that a sticking point in the negotiations was the status of a $30 million non-refundable loan made by the Chris Hansen-led Seattle group to the Maloofs. The Maloofs were insisting that it be part of the Sacramento deal, as well, apparently pushing the total value of the deal to $555 million. As an alternative, it was reported that the NBA was asking the Sacramento group to pay the $30 million back to the Seattle group. As the news of this was breaking, it was unclear if the $30 million was included.
A matching offer was viewed as a necessity for Sacramento to have a chance to keep the team.
The NBA Board of Governors is expected to vote next Friday in New York whether to accept the sale of the team from the Maloofs to the Seattle group. It would not turn down the Seattle agreement if there were not a viable offer from the Sacramento group, which would allow the team to stay put.
The Bee also reported this morning that the Maloof family would “embrace” a matching bid that would allow the team to stay in Sacramento.
The Times has learned that the Seattle group does have the ability to increase its offer, though NBA commissioner David Stern has said he does not want this to turn into a bidding war.
While Stern has also said that expansion is not on the table, the fact that each city is willing to pay what would far exceed the previous record for an NBA franchise —the Golden State Warriors were sold for the previous high, $450 million, in 2010 — has led to increasing speculation that it could become an option.
— Also, earlier today a King County judge dismissed a lawsuit aimed at blocking construction of a proposed Sodo arena’
— And the Bee also reported that a former Facebook executive had joined Sacramento’s ownership group.
UPDATE — David Aldridge of NBA.com is now reporting that the Maloofs have given Sacramento more time to put its offer together:
Source: Maloofs will give Sacramento additional time to submit matching bid past 5 p.m. Fri. deadline. Story soon on NBA.com.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) April 12, 2013