By Rob McAllister


SACRAMENTO (CBS13/AP) – Seattle appears to be increasing their offer to the Maloofs for the Kings.

Rob McAllister spoke to the newest member of the investment team about the latest bid and if the local group will match.

Chris Kelly, a former executive at Facebook, and the latest so-called “whale” investor to join the Sacramento team, was hesitant to reveal if Sacramento would up its offer.

“We don’t have any particular comment on the Seattle bid. Our team will be working with the NBA. We are excited about where we stand,” said Kelly.

Kelly was chief privacy officer for Facebook. He joins the Sacramento group as an expert in social media and has experience in building businesses. He says he is a big basketball fan and believes the investment group, along with the fan base here, will put Sacramento over the tip next week.

“We feel pretty good about what we’ve put together and hopefully the NBA will see things our way,” said Kelly.

The Seattle group led by Hansen and Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer announced Friday night they had reached agreement with the Maloof family to raise the purchase price of the Kings by $25 million to an NBA-record $550 million.

In a statement on his website, Sonicsarena.com, Hansen said the group has voluntarily raised the purchase price as a sign of commitment in bringing the NBA back to Seattle.

“The Seattle Ownership Group has elected to voluntarily raise its purchase price as a sign of our commitment to bring basketball back to our city and our high degree of confidence in our arena plan, our financing plan, the economic strength of the Seattle market, individual and corporate support for the team and, most importantly, the future of the NBA,” Hansen said.

Hansen’s group entered into a binding agreement with the Maloof family in January to purchase the controlling interest of the franchise based on a $525 million value. The purchase agreement has been countered by Sacramento’s attempts to put together a potential ownership group that would keep the Kings in California.

The NBA Board of Governors meets next week in New York and hopes to vote on the potential sale and relocation.

The league announced today that neither the Seattle group nor the Sacramento group has been invited to make a presentation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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