The Sacramento Kings are moving to — wait for it — Seattle. That’s what Yahoo! Sports is reporting.
It’s not a done deal, but it’s close, the Yahoo! Sports story said.
This means nothing for efforts in Louisville to lure a team here, said Chris Poynter, a spokesman for Mayor Greg Fischer.
“We were never going after the Kings; the Kings were never talking to the city of Louisville,” Poynter said on Wednesday.
The concept of the Kings moving to Louisville has existed for years — before Fischer began actively advocating for an NBA franchise to play in the KFC Yum! Center.
The pursuit of an NBA team in Louisville is a long-term proposition, Poynter said. At the moment, Fischer is waiting on an updated Greater Louisville Inc. study on the feasibility of an NBA franchise in Louisville. And, as Fischer noted last week on WFPL, issues must be resolved — the UofL’s lease with the KFC Yum! Center would need renegotiating and an ownership team would need to be in place.
Last week, Fischer said the NBA is unlikely to expand. That means a franchise’s owner would have to want to relocate a team. In recent years, the Kings have been the NBA’s most likely to relocate.
The NBA has 30 franchises.
“The mayor has always said we want to be ready down the road when and if a team would ever be interested in Louisville,” Poynter said on Wednesday. “We don’t have a team that’s interested in Louisville.”
On Tuesday, Virginia Beach’s mayor withdrew from courting an NBA franchise.
The Kings would play in Seattle’s KeyArena for a couple of years and then move to a new arena, Yahoo! Sports says. The team’s owners, the Maloof family, would sell the team to a group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, a hedge-fund manager and the Microsoft chairman, respectively.