When new owner Clay Bennett decided to move the Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City after purchasing the team more than four years ago, he left behind the name and the logo for the city to use in case it was ever able to acquire another franchise. Given how well the community supported the organization, it was widely assumed that goodwill gesture would come in handy, but I’m not sure anyone realized how quickly it would come in handy.

According to ESPN, equity manager Christopher Hansen, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and several other Seattle business leaders have reached an agreement with the Maloof family to purchase the Sacramento Kings. The deal is reportedly worth about $525 million and would need to be finalized by March 1 in order for the new ownership group to formally apply to move the team to Seattle for next season. Given the long history of ownership problems and relocation rumors that have surrounded the Kings, approval is expected to be given by the Board of Governors, at least if it makes it to that point. The city of Sacramento, however, is planning to fight the potential relocation.

Mayor Kevin Johnson is reportedly trying to put together a different ownership group that would keep the team in California, but as of press time, the Maloof family is very content to take the offer presented, which would be a huge victory for the people of Seattle and a crushing blow for those living in Sacramento.

We’ll keep you updated as this ownership situation works itself out.



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