Chris Hansen announced Monday that his investment group has a "binding agreement" to buy controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings basketball team from the Maloof family. The announcement ends weeks of rumor and speculation.
The NBA said in a statement that the deal has been sent to its governing board for review.
The Sonics NBA team left Seattle in 2008 when owner Clay Bennett moved the team to Oklahoma City and changed the team name to the Thunder. NBA fans in Sacramento have disparaged the Maloof brothers on local sports talk radio in recent weeks, just as Sonics fans in Seattle criticized Bennett when it became clear he intended to move the Sonics.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn congratulated Hansen and called the deal "a major step toward bringing the Sonics home." Hansen's investment group has also secured agreements with the city and King County to build an arena in Sodo.