The NBA knows Seattle is working to bring professional basketball back to the city and wouldn't rule out a team relocating here.
But in an exclusive interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, NBA Commissioner David Stern said Seattle's hopes of landing a team hinge on a new arena deal.
“We had heard reports of some interest in Seattle and the name of the person who’s associated with it is not totally unknown to me. I think he came in and I met with him, it must be a year ago. Just a general conversation; he was brought in by a mutual friend,” Stern told the Tribune.
As KING 5 first reported in December, San Francisco hedge fund manager Chris Hansen has bought a 3-acre parcel near Safeco Field for $21.6 million -- nearly $3 million more than its assessed value.
Hansen has talked with Seattle officials about building a new basketball and hockey arena in SODO, Mayor Mike McGinn confirmed Monday.
Stern told the Tribune that the NBA is not planning to add new franchises, which means a team from another city would need to decide to move to Seattle.
The team everyone is focusing on is the Sacramento Kings -- a franchise that's currently in talks with its host city on a new arena plan. Should those talks fall through by March 1, a move to Seattle could be on the table.
See KING 5 reporter Chris Daniels's latest report on how KeyArena plays into Seattle's NBA dreams.