Sacramento developer Mark Friedman said today he's joining the bid to buy the Kings and build the team a new arena at Downtown Plaza.
Friedman said today he'll also participate in the non-arena development that's being proposed for the Downtown Plaza site.
Friedman's emergence comes one day after Mayor Kevin Johnson revealed that Southern California billionaire Ron Burkle had to reduce his role in the project because of a conflict of interest. Johnson hinted at a press conference Monday that there might be additional changes in the ownership structure.
But Friedman said he's been contemplating jumping into the Kings bid for a while.
"I've been talking to Vivek (Ranadive) and Mark Mastrov for a couple of months," Friedman said, referring to the lead investors in the bid for the Kings.
A source said Monday that the Jacobs family of San Diego, founders of telecommunications giant Qualcomm Inc., was stepping up its involvement in the project as well.
Friedman wouldn't say how much he's investing in the project, but called the commitment "substantial." Friedman's family, among other things, controls Arden Fair mall.
The Ranadive-Mastrov group wants to buy the Kings to keep the team from moving to Seattle, where investors have already made a deal with the Maloof family.
The NBA Board of Governors expects to decide on the team's fate at a meeting in New York on April 18 or 19, although the decision could come later.
Call The Bee's Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.