Preps Talk

Kings' move to Seattle is all but a done deal

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Kings' move to Seattle is all but a done deal

From Comcast SportsNetThe only thing stopping the Sacramento Kings from a sale and move to Seattle is approval by NBA owners.The Maloof family has agreed to sell the Kings to a Seattle group led by investor Chris Hansen, two people familiar with the decision said Sunday night. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal is still pending approval from the NBA Board of Governors.One person said Hansen's group will buy 65 percent of the franchise for 525 million, move the team to Seattle and restore the SuperSonics name. The Maloofs will have no stake in the team.The sale figure is a total valuation of the franchise, which includes relocation fees. Hansen's group also is hoping to buy out other minority investors.The Maloofs will receive a 30 million non-refundable deposit Feb. 1, according to the deal, one person said. They will still be allowed to receive other offers until the league approves the sale.Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said last week he had received permission from NBA Commissioner David Stern to present a counteroffer to league owners from buyers who would keep the Kings in Sacramento.The plan by Hansen's group is to have the team play at least the next two seasons in KeyArena before moving into a new facility in downtown Seattle. The deadline for teams to apply for a move for the next season is March 1.Johnson said in a statement late Sunday night that the city remains undeterred despite the agreement with the Seattle group."Sacramento has proven that it is a strong NBA market with a fan base that year in and year out has demonstrated a commitment to the Kings by selling out 19 of 27 seasons in a top 20 market and owning two of the longest sellout streaks in NBA history," Johnson said."When it comes to keeping the team in our community, Sacramento is playing to win. In particular, we have been focused like a laser on identifying an ownership group that will both have the financial resources desired by the NBA and the vision to make the Kings the NBA equivalent of what the Green Bay Packers have been in the NFL."In a saga that has dragged on for nearly three years, Johnson and Sacramento appear to be facing their most daunting challenge yet.Hansen, a Seattle native and San Francisco-based investor, reached agreement with local governments in Seattle last October on plans to build a 490 million arena near the city's other stadiums, CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field.As part of the agreement, no construction will begin until all environmental reviews are completed and a team has been secured.Hansen's group is expected to pitch in 290 million in private investment toward the arena, along with helping to pay for transportation improvements in the area around the stadiums.The plans also call for the arena to be able to handle a future NHL franchise.The remaining 200 million in public financing would be paid back with rent money and admissions taxes from the arena, and if that money falls short, Hansen would be responsible for making up the rest.Other investors in the proposed arena include Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and two members of the Nordstrom department store family.Hansen's goal has been to return the SuperSonics to the Puget Sound after they were moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City in 2008.Asked in September if he could envision a team being in Seattle for the 2013 season, Hansen was cautious about finding an option that quickly.The Kings' sale price would top the NBA-record 450 million the Golden State Warriors sold for in July 2010.Brothers Joe, Gavin and George Maloof bought controlling interests in the franchise from Los Angeles-based developer Jim Thomas in 1999. The Maloofs, who have long waited for an upgrade to the team's outdated arena, backed out of a tentative 391 million deal for a new downtown building with Sacramento last year, reigniting fears the franchise could relocate.Johnson and the Kings broke off all negotiations in the summer with the team's owners, who said the deal didn't make financial sense for the franchise.In 2011, the Kings appeared determined to move to Anaheim before Johnson convinced the NBA to give the city one last chance to help finance an arena.At one point, Johnson seemed so certain the team was gone he called the process a "slow death" and compared the city's efforts to keep the Kings a "Hail Mary."Johnson made a pitch to the NBA Board of Governors in April 2011, promising league owners the city would find a way to help finance a new arena to replace the team's current outdated suburban facility. That pitch bought the Kings time, before the brokered deal between the city and the Maloofs fell apart last year.

WATCH: Trevor Keegan, the top 2019 football recruit in Illinois, announces his college decision

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RIVALS.COM

WATCH: Trevor Keegan, the top 2019 football recruit in Illinois, announces his college decision

It can't be easy being a low-key 6-foot-6, 310 pound senior in high school. But Crystal Lake South’s four star-ranked offensive tackle Trevor Keegan, the state's top recruit for the Class of 2019, has (for the most part) remained as ‘under the recruiting radar’ as possible.

Keegan has been very quiet. He hasn't revealed much when it comes to specific college leanings throughout his recruiting process. But that’s all about to change, as he makes his college announcement Friday night at 6:30 in South’s auditorium.

The calm before the announcement storm, so to speak, makes it all the more intriguing. It’s an event you can see live on @NBCSPreps via Periscope at 6:30 p.m. 

Keegan, who last week narrowed down his final top destination list to Michigan, Penn State and Georgia, is at the end of a rigorous decision process. He racked up 35 total scholarship offers from most —if not all— of the major players from every Power Five conference across the country. 

So which school will Keegan select on Friday night? 

According to Rivals.com Midwest Football Recruiting Expert Josh Helmholdt, "Trevor has been very quiet and really hasn't said much at all up to this point. Most roads for me on his decision leads to Michigan, yet if he decided on either Penn State or Georgia I would not be shocked."

Expect Keegan to make Friday’s verbal commitment official this coming Wednesday, Dec. 19, when the football Early National Letter of Intent Signing Period begins. 

Keegan, along with the rest of the Class of 2019, will be just the second football class allowed to sign an early Letter of Intent. Last December, the Class of 2018 took full advantage of the first early signing window as nearly 75 percent of all BCS scholarship players signed during the early period.

The Class of 2019 is projected to equal or even surpass last year's 75 percent early signing rate. 

 

Jan Rutta clears waivers, but Blackhawks running into logjam on defense

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USA TODAY

Jan Rutta clears waivers, but Blackhawks running into logjam on defense

After clearing waivers on Friday, the Blackhawks sent Jan Rutta to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League as they continue to shuffle the deck on defense. But there's still a logjam on the back end and decisions must be made soon.

Erik Gustafsson is back after missing two games with an illness. Carl Dahlstrom was recalled from Rockford. Gustav Forsling, who's nursing a shoulder injury, is getting close to returning. And Brandon Davidson, who had meniscus surgery on Nov. 27 and was originally given a 6-8 week timetable, practiced with the Blackhawks on Friday for the first time since the injury. 

In total, nine defensemen were on the ice for morning skate ahead of Friday’s matchup against the Winnipeg Jets, which means the competition is just beginning.

"That’ll be determined by how guys play," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "So that’s a positive for our team."   

Despite Rutta being out of the mix now, the Blackhawks still have to make some roster decisions and identify who their rotation will consist of on defense. Or at least clear room to give the younger guys a longer look for the future. They carried eight defensemen last season and have been reluctant to do so again this season.

With the league-wide holiday freeze approaching from Dec. 19-27 that prevents teams from making any transactions on the waiver wire or trade front, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Blackhawks make a move or two come before then.