With a cloud of darkness still hovering over the New Orleans Saints from an under-the-table bounty scheme they ran from 2009-11, owner Tom Benson has reportedly reached a deal to buy the New Orleans Hornets.
According to David Aldridge of NBA.com, the league reached a tentative agreement early Friday morning with the Saints owner to buy the team for 338 million, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions.
The league had no objections to Bensons purchase as the Saints and Hornets are in the same city.
The New Orleans Times Picayune first reported the sale of the Hornets to Benson this morning.
A source indicated that Tom Benson spoke with Stern on Monday, and the deal came together quickly after that discussion. Benson will have to pay approximately 10 percent of the purchase price immediately. The NBAs Finance Committee is expected to approve the sale Friday morning before the Board of Governors meeting adjourns, with final approval on the sale expected later in the spring.
The Hornets have the Western Conference worst record at 16-42, but under second-year head coach Monty Williams, they have competed hard on a nightly basis.
Its unclear whether a name change would be coming as Benson might want a name that connects more with the tradition of New Orleans and he will also have the task of trying to extend the services of unrestricted free agent Eric Gordon and unrestricted free agent Chris Kaman.