Jan 10, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings fans hold signs against the Maloof

Seattle SuperSonics to return as Maloofs reach deal to sell Kings to Seattle group


After some back-and-forth about whether the Sacramento Kings were moving to Seattle or not, now it looks like they will.

The Maloof family that owns the Sacramento Kings has reached an agreement to sell a 65 percent controlling interest in the franchise to a Seattle group led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that NBA teams were formally notified Sunday night that the Kings have been valued at $525 million and that the parties have executed a purchase agreement, which still requires league approval.

Via Marc Stein of ESPN.com

It was reported earlier that the plan of this Seattle group, led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, is to move the team to Seattle next season and have them play in the old Key Arena that the SuperSonics last played in. The new arena that is being built in downtown Seattle won’t be ready until the 2015-16 season.

Reports are also surfacing now that Phil Jackson is going to be a big part of the Seattle SuperSonics upon their return. He’s not going to coach but be the face of the front office.

Yahoo! Sports is also reporting that the Seattle group is targeting San Antonio Spurs general manager R.C. Buford and former Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird as possible candidates to become the new GM of the team.

The current GM of the Kings, Geoff Petrie, is in his final year of his contract and will not be retained.

Tags: Chris Hansen Larry Bird Maloof Brothers Phil Jackson R.C. Buford Sacramento Kings Seattle Supersonics