After a day of denials and silence, a new round of speculation started with a tweet from Bay Area sports writer Matt Steinmetz, who said a deal between the Maloof family and developer Chris Hansen was a "done deal."
The financially beleaguered Maloofs have been under pressure to sell the Sacramento Kings and Hansen's group is willing to pay upwards of $525 million. Steinmetz reported the Maloofs would have no controlling interest or decision-making with the franchise if it moved to Seattle.
Steinmetz said during a radio interview that there may be a formal announcement next week.
The Kings told KOMO News that they will not comment on speculation about the franchise and had no official position. Hansen's camp also had no comment Friday. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn's office also was unaware of a signed deal and offered no comment.
There was also a late report his afternoon from CBS Sports that a local buyer in Sacramento made a formal offer to keep the Kings in the California capital. The bid reportedly came from Mark Mastrov, the founder of the 24-Hour Fitness franchises.
What is certain is that there are new design sketches for the arena. The widely panned "cruise ship" look from the first design has now been modified to evoke Mount Rainier and a jet engine. The sketches also showed a possible layout for the arena, with locker rooms and practice courts.
The designs also elaborated on the plaza area outside the arena. It could be modified to host everything from art fairs and ski board ramps to concerts and ice rinks. There will be another design and review meeting with the city on Jan. 17.
View the new Sonics arena design sketches >>