Owning the worst record in the NBA and struggling to build a new arena, it appears the Milwaukee Bucks may already have been sold to the highest bidder.

According to ESPN/Grantland columnist and NBA analyst Bill Simmons, Bucks owner Herb Kohl may have found a buyer.





But as of now, no sale has been confirmed. Even if Kohl has come to terms with a buyer, the sale must be approved by a vote of the rest of the league's owners.

As early as January of this year, there were reports that Kohl had heard from or been in negotiations with as many as four groups hoping to purchase the Bucks, according to the Racine Journal-Times. At least one of the groups is made up of suitors hailing from Wisconsin or with ties to the state, and Kohl’s reported preference is to sell to local investors.

The NBA hasn’t quite healed from the black eye it received when it backed the sale of the now-defunct Seattle Supersonics to the present owners of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who originally said they were hoping to keep the team in the Northwest but only if a deal with the city to build a new arena was consummated. However, after long legal battles and much protest by Seattle, the team relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008.

The Bucks are presently playing in the Bradley Center, which opened in 1988, and Kohl was quoted last year as saying a new arena’s opening was imminent and necessary.

"We have to find a way and we will find a way," Kohl said to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "We know we have to find a way to a new facility and we will. The question is when and how. But we will because that is the future of not only the Bucks ... Milwaukee and Wisconsin need a 21st century sports and entertainment complex."

Also in January, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce hired Hammes Co., a construction company known best in the health care industry, to determine whether a new arena should be built or if the Bradley Center still sufficed. The NBA has stipulated that all teams modernize their arenas and meet league standards no later than 2017, according to the Journal-Sentinel.

The Bucks have posted a 14-62 record this year, the worst in the NBA, and they have been lumped together with the Philadelphia 76ers in accusations of tanking for better opportunities in the upcoming NBA draft.