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May 11, 2013 8:47 PM by Bill Halter, AP

Seattle group has backup plan to buy Kings

SEATTLE (AP) - A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the Seattle group seeking to purchase and relocate the Sacramento Kings has struck a backup deal with the Maloof family if the NBA denies the pending sale and relocation.

The backup agreement would have the Seattle group, led by investor Chris Hansen and Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer, purchase a limited ownership of the Maloofs stake in the Kings, but it would be at least 20 percent. The person spoke to the AP on Saturday on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publically discuss the details of the offer. ESPN.com first reported the backup deal.

Hansen and Ballmer already upped the stakes on Friday when they announced they had increased the valuation of the Kings from $550 million to $625 million in another attempt to sway NBA owners to allow him to buy the franchise and move it to Seattle.

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