Sacramento Or Seattle? Committees Offer Up Recommendation On Monday

The NBA’s relocation and finance committees will have a conference call on Monday, April 29, and make a recommendation on whether to approve the sale of the Sacramento Kings to a Seattle-based group that would move the team there next season or to reject the sale and keep the team in Sacramento.

After the recommendation is officially delivered to the NBA, the league’s owners will have seven business days to contemplate what to do and to conduct a final vote. That would mean the league could have a final vote as early as Wednesday, May 8, though it does not mean they would vote that day.

The NBA’s Board of Governors did not take a vote on whether to allow the sale from the Maloof Family to a group led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at its annual meeting earlier this month. The city of Sacramento, led by Mayor Kevin Johnson, has put together an ownership group led by software magnate Vivek Ranadive and 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov that has put in a bid to buy the team from the Maloofs and keep them in Sacramento.

Both cities have received local approval for building new arenas that would take some public funding as part of the construction costs. Owners on the committees wanted more information concerning the schedules each city has for constructing the building, as well as potential environmental and legal issues each city faces before construction can begin.

The Hansen group reached agreement with the Maloofs in January to purchase 65 percent of the team, on a franchise valuation of $525 million, equaling $341 million for the 65 percent, and gave a $30 million non-refundable deposit to the Maloofs. Earlier this month, after the Ranadive group made it clear to owners it would match the Hansen offer, Hansen announced his group would “voluntarily” raise its franchise valuation of the Kings to $550 million, meaning an additional $16.5 million would go to the Maloofs, for $357.5 million for 65 percent of the team.

The Ranadive group has matched the $525 million valuation, but has not yet opted to match the $550 million valuation. According to a letter released by the Maloofs earlier this month, the Ranadive group has pledged a $15 million non-refundable deposit.

The Maloofs have consistently told the league that they want to take the deal with the Hansen group. But Commissioner David Stern has been adamant that while the NBA generally allows owners to sell to whomever they like, the league will make the determination whether the Kings will be allowed to move.

A vote to approve a sale requires three-quarters of the league’s owners, or 23 of the 30. A vote to approve a franchise move requires a simple majority, or 16 of the league’s 30 owners.

33 Comments

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  3. goniff says:

    Bring back our Sonics!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I love you guys.

    • Gary Payton says:

      Eexxppaannssiioonn! Everyone is happy! Two groups willing to pay top dollar, Seattle would be happy, Sacramento could breath easy, and keep their team as it should be! It is sad this all started seven years ago for Seattle and has come to this unacceptable scenario! Sactown deserves good ownership as we did back then…..

  4. goniff says:

    I love you all guys, but the Kings are staying put. That’s all there is to it.

  5. SG says:

    Samuel, Leave the Minnesota Timberwolves out of this !!
    “”””””””Samuel says:
    April 25, 2013 at 7:33 pm
    Sacramento should keep thier team, and Seattle should buy the Atlanta Hawks, Toronto Raptors or Minnesota Timberwolves”””””””””””””””””””””
    WE, Love Our Team here in Minnesota & Have a Very Great Arena for them to play in !
    We Also, Love Coach Adelman & want him to stay very badly, providing, the Medical people, can Figure out & Help His Wifes Illness, as we all know Family SHOULD come first !
    We have relatives in Sacramento & they Love their Kings & don’t want them to move !
    Let Seattle get an expansion team, who cares!
    They had a Team, The Sonics, & they got away, this should NOT happen with the Kings, nor Timberwolves, leave them where they are & are Loved !!
    Have a Great Weekend,Everyone !!

  6. Gary Payton says:

    I still would like it to be expansion for Seattle as would be the majority of fans up here, Okeville never deserved a team and parading Sonic history around is ridiculous Their history is only five years and they wanted to retire Gary Payton’s # 20 awhile back and he declined. Sonic players at the time were very vocal about not wanting to move (more endorsements in larger markets, exposure, etc.) and the lies that were told while they plotted the move! Sacramento does not deserve this for sure, but it must be the new business model and comes down to state of the art arena’s being built. The problem is the old ones need to be paid off before a new one is built and municipalities should not foot more than 40% of the bill if even that!. Key arena is dated now, but a great place to watch a game in 95% of the seats which made it affordable for all fans. In the end should it be about the fans or not????

  7. Gary Payton says:

    By May 10th the Sonics are back! Stern is just giving KJ and co. every chance to get it together, but in the end it is business. The NBA subsidizing the Kings is not in the cards anymore and the TV deal is up in two years, thirteenth largest market wins!

    • BigD says:

      Boy are you wishful thinking….every indication I’ve seen is that the Kings are going to be staying. Seattle will probably get an expansion team, but in my opinion there’s absolutely no way the Kings are going anywhere…….. The arena will fill up once they know the Kings aren’t going anywhere, that’s the only reason why it hasn’t been filled over the last 2 or 3 years…..Nobody wanted to invest their $$$ and time into a team if it wasn’t going to be here….

      • Gary Payton says:

        Have they purchased all the property? If yes, it still would take four years to build. Have they matched the current offer and have a signed a binding purchase agreement with deposit? Would the TV revenue match Seattle market and not be subsidized by owners with the revenue sharing like they have? Some of the things they are looking and expansion should be a yes, best outcome! How often are the owners going to see two groups willing to pay top dollar at the same time?

    • Gary Payton says:

      Update, Sonics back April 14th or week of! All business and owners like money and security! Or, please say expansion which would be win/win!

  8. Kyle says:

    At this point, Sacramento is costing the NBA money every year. They have some great fan support and obvious government support. If all it takes is an arena to straighten them out the I’m all for having Seattle get some sort of expansion. Timing is everything though and when you make an offer to buy a team substantially greater than any other offer in NBA history, the league had better do everything they can to get that money. For the Hansen Balmer Nordstrom group to walk away from an agreed upon deal, they had better come up with something tangible, either expansion or an actual sale/move agreement for another troubled team.

    Fred – To your point about what kind of message is being sent – They already have answered that. It appears that they will go to wherever they think the most money can be made based on the Sonics move to OKC. It is only the fact that Sacramento is willing to match a record setting deal that is even making this a decision. Any other franchise with any weak response from fans/government/another ownership group would see their team moving. Hats off to Sacramento for the tenacity.

    • Gary Payton says:

      From what I have heard the Sacramento group is not matching the Seattle groups offer and the Maloof family is not communicating with the Sacramento group anymore. The NBA or Stern stated that they are treating it as a purchase agreement? Whatever that means, does not make since..

  9. Chris says:

    First, the Sonics had been in Seattle for 41 years and OKC currently has their history. Gary Payton’s and Shawn Kemp’s stats are considered OKC’s. If the Sonics come back to Seattle then the OKC group is likely to return all their history. The Hansen/Ballmer group may not even make any claim to the King’s history whatsoever.

    Secondly. this Sacramento group just came together a few months ago. Where were these ‘whales’ when the Maloofs were talking about moving them to Anaheim or selling to a group in Virginia Beach? The city of Sacramento is just now working with an potential ownership group, and cobbling up an arena deal in the downtown location.

    To your last point Seattle and the Hansen/Ballmer group is doing NOTHING to Sacramento like the OKC ownership group did when they deceitfully purchased this team with full intentions of moving to OKC.

    This is business, more organized group should be awarded the King’s franchise whom the majority owners have a binding sale agreement with.

    Steve Ballmer told reporters today on #NBAKings bid: “Seattle’s got a great bid, we got a great arena plan, I think the better arena plan. We’ve got a good offer, been accepted by current owners, we got a great market. (It) would seem like there will never be a better opportunity, but it’ll be up to the NBA Owners.”

  10. Samuel says:

    Sacramento should keep thier team, and Seattle should buy the Atlanta Hawks, Toronto Raptors or Minnisota Timberwolves.
    Seattle is a great market with great fans, with funny signs, remember Seattle vs Utah playoffs 95′.
    Why didn’t this Seattle buyer make a bid when the New Orleans Hornets were available? Why didn’t David Stern push for Seattle to buy the Hornets, before that Chris Paul trade debacle.

  11. Jeffrey Brown says:

    The NBA needs to look at this from a business perspective only. They did not care about Seattle’s 41 years of history or strong fan support before swindling a deal for OKC to hijack the team. The NBA should have never taken the Sonics out of Seattle. The Hornets should have stayed in OKC instead of going back to New Orleans. Or OKC should have been granted an expansion franchise. Because David Stern let things get personal between him and some of Washington State’s politicians, Seattle lost their team when they shouldn’t have. And because of that, there’s a very high chance that Sacramento will lose their beloved franchise because of this unfortunate domino effect.

    What this comes down to is business. These are businessmen voting on a business proposal. If you compare Seattle’s bid and market compared to Sacramento’s, for the overall well being of the league moving forward, the best move is to vote to approve the relocation of the Kings to Seattle.

    If Vivek Ranadive and the rest of his group are truly serious about owning an NBA franchise, they will continue to work with the league, to buy up all their necessary land and get their new arena funded and built. And hopefully Sacramento will be granted an expansion team or get another relocated team a few years down the road.

    However, the time is now for the NBA to return to Seattle. The group has worked very hard for over 2 years to acquire all the necessary land and get all the arena funding finalized. The fan base is booming for the return of the NBA right now. If the NBA were to reject Seattle’s bid, they may lose the Seattle market forever. And that’s just bad business.

  12. Rafael says:

    PLEASE KEEP THE KINGS IN SACRAMENTO!!!! BRING THE SEATTLE SONICS BACK THROUGH EXPANSION!!!!

  13. dustin says:

    I think it would be unfair to Seattle to not have them relocate. The Sonics were actually stolen from them and Seattle has done way more than Sac in this process. The only time Sac wants them is when they are leaving. Give them to Seattle who is a way better city and has way more history. Way more attractive place than Sacramento.

    • BigD says:

      Then give Seattle an Expansion Team and Keep the Kings in Sacramento. More than likely this is the way it’s going to go anyway based upon all of the info(call it rumors or whatever) that I’ve heard….

  14. John says:

    If they give the kings to seattle,they are smart.if they dont there seeing it as a bussiness perspective,I’m an idiot right?

    • KingsFan says:

      If they give Seattle an Expansion and keep the Kings in Sacramento, THEN they are smart…………

    • Fred Field says:

      First, the Kings are one of the original NBA franchises (Rochester to Cincinnati as Royals, KC-Omaha to Sacremento Kings). If they become the Seattle Supersonics, they will have TWO histories.
      Second, the controversial selling of the Supersonics (in which Seattle was deemed unworthy) implies that a franchise is awarded to the city that wants it most or that can give the highest bid, and past history is irrelevant.
      My question in this context is, what kind of message is this sending to other cities (especially small markets) like Indiana, the Spurs, Pelicans, Jordancats, and others? There is nothing to keep the Spurs from moving to, say, Chicago, or to Orange County, CA for that matter. Better keep forking out money to update arenas or face losing the franchise. It’s a business, I know, but that sure give an awful lot of leverage to Stein and the league.
      Yeah, “they” traded Babe Ruth, but there has to be some respect for history. Otherwise, fans are just pawns. If Seattle has so much money and public support, then they should not repeat what was done to them–it’s a matter of conscience.

      • bigwes95 says:

        the difference is that their owners don’t try screwing over their own team, except Jordan who doesn’t have to try at that. and how do you think those cities felt with their team moving just because they had low attendance, which sounds a lot like the kings right now?and you can’t bring up the kings as being originals when they aren’t, they’ve been in 5 cities i believe and have changed their colors, name, city, state and everything else basically. and then you say the past is irrelevant! doesn’t make sense. and don’t talk about Seattle feeling guilty, the owner who bought them said they would keep the team in Seattle and then moved them because they didn’t get a chance to get an arena deal done, Sacramento’s had at least 5 years to get one done! the sonics had a matter of 6 months! Seattle was screwed over completely unfairly, the kings have had years to get stuff done and haven’t, the sonics didn’t even get a year!

    • Gary Payton says:

      Kings will become Sonics unless expansion happens. There is only one business based choice to make by the BOG and it is money, stability of group that is furthest along in the process. Money is most important factor, way more in Seattle from owners, to government and TV market with the NBA getting new deal in two years. What is weird is they will vote on relocation first? No to relocation and vote yes on sale to only group with a binding agreement and highest or unmatched offer, to only reapply for relocation next year when to stadium is half done. By then Seattle will have secured a NHL team too! The financial stability of the proposal for stadium (all property has been purchased) in Seattle is 60% private money (lees for taxpayers) and a NHL team playing here too. Also planned is a smaller version of Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on property already purchased, all of this is within walking distance of Sound Transit Light Rail Station.

  15. staticks says:

    I think this whole situation is extremely unfortunate and unfair to the city of Sacramento. Sacramento doesn’t deserve to have its only professional sports team ripped away from them. Let Seattle wait for expansion, or prey on another city’s NBA franchise that doesn’t have as devoted fan support as the Kings.

    Some NBA fans on the outside looking in might point out the fact Kings attendance numbers have been really low in the past few years, indicating a lack of fan support. But that’s mainly due to the incompetent ownership of the Kings (the Maloofs) and how they have tanked the team for years now, refusing to put in the money needed to make the team successful. They’ve adopted the approach of hiring cheap coaches, and only acquiring cheap players, and this strategy obviously results in a terrible team and a terrible product–why would any fans support a terrible product that the owners don’t support?

    I suggest any people unfamiliar with the Sacramento situation, and their horrible history with the Maloofs, do a little bit of research on how the Maloofs have screwed the city of Sacramento many times since they took ownership, especially in the last couple years. Including a stunning series of events in 2012 where the Maloofs backed out of an arena deal at the LAST MINUTE that the NBA and SAC city officials signed off on–showing that their true intentions were never to keep the team in Sacramento.

    • mary says:

      Exactly…and even with the embarrasing product offered on the floor, the attendance has been substantial. The Maloofs have been trying to tank this team since the break up of the Vlade/Webber years.

      • Gary Payton says:

        That is what Bennett did with Sonics while telling lies to everyone, but it was so he could move them to Okeville. Just like the MaGoofs trying to move to any place they could

    • Matthew says:

      You sir could not have said that any better!!

  16. tmidnight says:

    If they took the Kings from Sacramento it would be a travesty! One of the best fan bases in all of Pro Sports…

    They should keep the Kings in Sacramento AND give Seattle an expansion team! It’s the only thing that really seems right.

  17. Richard says:

    Let’s face it, David Stern does not want the move to Seattle approved and the delays are simply designed to make sure that it does not happen. I will be very surprised if the owners go against the commissioner in this matter–they didn’t when the Sonics were moved to Oklahoma City. The sad thing for Seattle is that it won’t matter since the Stern years will continue with his hand picked successor.

  18. john says:

    If they give the kings to seattle, they are smart. If they dont give them to seattle, they are not looking at it from a business perspective. Seatlle has shown the most money so far,this is a business right?

  19. john says:

    If they give the kings to seattle,they are smart.if they dont there seeing it as a bussiness perspective,this is a business right?