The Seattle group attempting to purchase the Sacramento Kings have filed to relocate the team to the Emerald City, according to the Associated Press .
"We have had submitted a signed agreement to have the team sold to a very strong group from Seattle," NBA Commissioner David Stern told reporters prior to the Minnesota-San Antonio game.
The Seattle group is led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft exec Steve Ballmer, and they filed to move the team well before the March 1 deadline.
Hansen and Steve Ballmer reportedly reached an agreement to buy a 65 percent stake in the Kings from the Maloof family. The franchise is valued at $525 million.
Sacramento officials have been fighting to keep the Kings in the Cowbell Kingdom.
Stern told reporters Wednesday that he doesn't see "a bidding war" coming between Seattle and Sacramento.
"There's a series
of issues that are defined by our constitution that have to be
considered," Stern said. "One of the things that our board is mandated to consider is
the support for the team in the prior city. So there are real issues for
the board to consider, about the buildings, about the likelihood they
will be built, about the support from the cities."
The NBA's Board of Governors still have to approve of the sale. If they do so, they'd also have to approve of relocation.