The $2 billion agreement between the Sterling family trust and Seattle-based former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer for the Los Angeles Clippers has dealt a significant blow to Seattle's long-running hopes to reacquire an NBA team.

Just last month, Ballmer and partner Chris Hansen made a preliminary aggressive bid to buy the Milwaukee Bucks and move them to Seattle, offering in excess of $650 million, sources told With an expected relocation fee, the price to turn the Bucks into the new Seattle SuperSonics would have topped $800 million.

However, then-Bucks owner Herb Kohl never pursued the option in favor of a $550 million bid from Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry because Kohl was committed to keeping the team in Wisconsin. As part of the agreement, the NBA has the right to buy the Bucks from Edens and Lasry if there is no new arena deal by the end of 2017, closing another door that Hansen and Ballmer had hoped was an option.

That made Ballmer and Hansen 0-for-3 in buy-and-relocate attempts in the past 18 months. They made an offer of $403 million for 65 percent of the Sacramento Kings last spring and had a signed a sales agreement. But the NBA rejected the move when a new arena deal was made and Vivek Ranadive bought the team for a valuation of $534 million, well less than the $625 million valuation Ballmer and Hansen offered.

Then last spring, Hansen and Ballmer went after the Minnesota Timberwolves when they were for sale, but owner Glen Taylor pulled the team off the market and later extended its lease to 2032 after getting $50 million in public money to renovate the Target Center in Minneapolis.

When the Clippers became available, Ballmer moved on from his Seattle aspirations, and he has agreed to purchase 100 percent of the Clippers himself and keep them in Los Angeles.

The NBA backed Ballmer in the sales process with Shelly Sterling and likely will grant him a quick and smooth approval. Although it was not Ballmer's intention, the role he played in helping force arena deals in Sacramento and Minnesota plus starting the process in Milwaukee played a role in NBA commissioner Adam Silver helping him land the Clippers, multiple league sources told ESPN.