While both the Seattle and Sacramento teams have been trying to spin events since the NBA owners met in New York last week, but they both agree on one thing:
The recommendation of the NBA’s sale and relocation committee will almost certainly hold sway over the course of the Kings’ franchise.
That committee will meet next Monday via conference call, according to multiple reports. At that time the committee will issue it’s recommendation and send that to the other owners.
Seven days after that the owners can vote on the matter (NBA bylaws call for the delay). That vote can be done by conference call or email, the owners do not have to reconvene.
The Maloofs have a deal in place to sell the Kings to a Seattle group is led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. They would purchase 65 percent of the team, which is valued at $550 million (an increased offer), and have applied for relocation to take the team to Seattle. The team would play in the Key Arena in Seattle for a few seasons while a new arena is constructed (it is in environmental review).
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson led a charge to put together a strong counter offer led by billionaire Vivek Ranadive to go with 24-Hour Fitness owner to lead a group buying the team. Their plans also call for a new arena.
All things being equal, several owners have called this a toss-up but seem hesitant to move a team out of a market that has put in the effort Sacramento has to retain the team. The question is are all things equal with the bid? Those owners also realize that Seattle is a larger, wealthier market and that would be handy in future television negotiations.
It requires two-thirds of the owners to approve the sale, meaning just eight owners can block it.
One way or another, a good ownership group is going to lose out. David Stern has shot down any talk of expansion saying the majority of owners do not wish to further divide up the revenue pie.