Thursday June 23rd, 2011

The Atlanta Hawks are on the verge of being sold, two league sources told SI.com Thursday.

One of the sources confirmed that the sale is about to be consummated, but declined to identify the buyer.

The news was expected to come as a surprise to team officials of the Hawks, who were not aware a sale was imminent as they prepared for the NBA draft. SI.com learned of the sale hours before the draft, though the news is not expected to influence the Hawks' decision-making during the draft.

The Atlanta Spirit issued a statement saying "we have spoken with a number of parties, but at this time, there is no deal in place, nor is there an exclusive negotiating agreement in place." Hawks spokesman Arthur Triche said Thursday the team had no further comment.

The Hawks ownership group last month sold the Atlanta Thrashers to a group that will relocate the franchise to Winnipeg next season. The Hawks owners have spent the last two to three years seeking minority investors in the NBA team.

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