Basketball - West Coast franchise decision imminent

In two weeks, NBA owners will decide which of two West Coast cities will get a franchise.


The groundwork was laid Wednesday when officials from investor groups representing Sacramento and Seattle made pitches to a committee of 12 NBA owners and representatives hoping to show that their city should be the Kings' home.

NBA commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver were part of the panel, which included Oklahoma City's Clay Bennett, the owner that moved the former Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City five years ago. Stern and others were permitted to ask questions after the presentations and then reviewed their findings privately.

The Seattle group, led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, made a nearly two-hour presentation. Accompanied by Seattle mayor Mike McGinn and other officials, the group steered the panel through the proposed purchase of the Kings from the Maloof family.

The Maloofs, who were part of the Seattle presentation Wednesday, agreed to sell a controlling interest in the team for $341 million to the group, which plans to relocate the team to the city and rename it the SuperSonics in time for the 2013-14 season.

Sacramento has put together its own group, led by former NBA All-Star and Mayor Kevin Johnson, and three of the investors behind a counter-offer for the team: Vivek Ranadive, Ron Burkle and Mark Mastrov. Last week, Johnson characterized the chances of the Kings remaining in Sacramento at "about 90 percent."

The competing presenters met with the Advisory Finance and Relocation committees, comprised of 12 owners. A vote is expected during the NBA Board of Governors meeting on April 18-19 in New York.

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Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he would consider drafting Britney Griner of Baylor University if she was considered the best player on the board when the Mavericks pick in the 2013 NBA Draft in June.

"You never know until you give someone a chance," Cuban told the Dallas Morning News.

"If we had tryouts, I would have no problem inviting her to work out and see how she did. No problem whatsoever."

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Washington Wizards rookie guard Bradley Beal will miss the remainder of the season with a stress injury in his right fibula. Beal will be able to resume basketball-related activities in approximately six weeks.

Beal, who was selected with the third overall pick out of Florida in the 2012 NBA Draft, was averaging 13.9 points, 3.8 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 56 games in his first season.

He was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for December and January and set the Wizards rookie franchise record for 3-pointers made in a season with 91.

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Zaza Pachulia underwent season-ending surgery on his right Achilles tendon, the Atlanta Hawks announced. The forward/center is expected to be sidelined for six months, which should put him in line to be ready for the start of next season.

Pachulia, 29, averaged 5.9 points and 6.5 rebounds in 21.8 minutes during his 52 games this season. He started 15 times.

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The Charlotte Bobcats have signed guard Jannero Pargo for the rest of the season. He has averaged 9.4 points, 2.5 assists and 1.1 rebounds in 10 games for the Bobcats.

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