SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — The owners of the Sacramento Kings are selling the team to an investor who would move the NBA franchise to Seattle, a prominent NBA reporter indicated Wednesday.
However, a team spokesman in a statement to CBS 13 in Sacramento maintained Wednesday that “the rumors regarding the team being sold are simply not true.”
Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Maloofs were in the process of finalizing a deal to sell the Kings to the Seattle-based Hansen-Ballmer group, led by investor Chris Hansen, for approximately $500 million.
The Seattle group would be seeking relocation to Seattle’s Key Arena for the 2013-’14 season, sources told Wojnarowski. Plans to build a new $490 million arena in Seattle were also approved by the City Council and the King County Council last October.
Sports Illustrated is also said to have first reported the deal after Daina Falk, daughter of NBA agent David Falk, tweeted that the Maloofs had sold the team. That posting on Twitter has since been deleted.
The proposal to move the Kings to Seattle would likely have the support of NBA commissioner David Stern. He has mentioned recently that he wants to bring a team back to the city of Seattle before his tenure is done.
Seattle has been trying to fill a basketball void in their city after the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder in 2008.
Maloofs spokesman Eric Rose said of the reported deal to relocate the team: “As we have said for nearly a year, we have been contacted by several cities and parties interested in the Sacramento Kings organization… our long-held position (is) that we will not comment on rumors or speculation about the franchise.”
(Copyright 2013 CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. CBS Sports contributed to this report.)