The Ts have been crossed and the Is have been dotted. Thew Sacramento Kings have been sold to the Seattle based Balmer-Hansen group. The purchase has been submitted to the NBA for approval.
The agreement placement the franchise value at $525 million, with Balmer/Hansen group buying 65% of the team, for about $340 million.
From what I can see, the sale was contingent on the NBAs approval to move the team to Seattle starting for the 2013-2014 season. The team would play in Key Arena for 2 seasons while the new SoDo arena is being built.
It is still uncertain if the NBA is going to allow the move to happen. Local groups in Sacramento are pushing hard to get an arena deal in place to keep the team in Norther California. Unlike what happened in Seattle 5 years ago, David Stern and the NBA seem to prefer that the team stay in pace if possible.
Another obstacle to the move comes from the arena situation in Seattle. Key Arena is unfit to be an NBA venue long term. The league is guaranteed to block any move that doesn’t include a new facility. While Hansen, the city, and Key County have an agreement to built an arena, it still must pass the environment impact study phase of the process. IT is possible that the NBA will not want to risk approving the sale until the arena construction is ready to begin.
While I doubt that the environmental impact study will cause the NBA to block the sale, it might cause them to delay it. More time means more competition from local Sacramento buyers and more time for arena solutions to come together to keep the team in place.
Overall this is a big step in getting the Sonics back in Seattle. I just think Sonics fans should hold off on celebrating until the NBA approves the sale.