george maloof joe maloof gavin maloof sacramento kings sale seattle gi Sacramento Kings: Seattle group negotiating with Maloofs to buy teamIt seems to happen at least once a season, but it looks like the Sacramento Kings may be on their way out of town. After backing out of deals in the past to move the team to Anaheim and building a new arena in Sacramento, the Maloof family is negotiating with a group of investors that would move the team out of California, to Seattle.

USA Today reports the group, led by Microsoft chairman Steve Ballmer and hedge fund manager Chris Hansen, is confident the deal will eventually get done. An anonymous source claims that should the deal go through, the Maloofs may retain a small stake in the team, which would be renamed the Sonics.

The Kings first came to Sacramento in 1985 after moving from Kansas City. Seattle has been without an NBA franchise since the SuperSonics left for Oklahoma City and were renamed the Thunder following the 2007-2008 season.

Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson hasn’t given up yet, tweeting, “we’ve been here before…fight on Sacramento! #keepthefaith.”