People need to understand that absolutely nothing changed last week. Every article and every tweet is indicative of an existing situation being made public or just some crazy speculation that has no basis in fact. It does not mean that something new is happening. The NBA is an aircraft carrier, not a jetski. It does not change directions that fast.
Billion dollar transactions march to completion and take slow, wide turns. IF there is one going on here any actual impacts on the transaction will happen over a span of weeks, not hours.
There were no new ownership groups who emerged in Sacramento, just some revelation of things that were already going on. It is very unlikely that there was a single substantive change in contract negotiations, let alone the dozen or so that were brought out by twitter.
From what I hear it sounds like the reason you are hearing two VERY divergent and contrasting story lines emerging has a lot to do with Kevin Johnson and the strong media relations he has. Stories like this one by Sam Amick can serve a lot of purposes.
First and foremost they provide hope, and hope can potentially result in time. They need time to get this going. If they lose hope then there is no shot. People will give up, the potential saviors will see the writing on the wall and it will be over. I can tell you that firsthand.
Secondly this type of "we will do everything we can to save the team" campaign continues to put the blame for the teams departure SQUARELY on the Maloofs. The implication that "there were groups in Sacramento that would have stepped up." changes the legacy on this one forever even if the truth of the matter is that none of those guys really have the commitment or chance to make it happen. If people believe there were options and the Maloofs ignored those options that helps the city save a lot of face during very difficult circumstances.
Lastly these stories takes advantage circumstances and force guys who have expressed interest, but been unwilling to really commit to sh!t or get off the pot. Lots of guys want to talk about buying an NBA team but at some point people have to say they are willing to roll up their sleeves and get it done. This is the big challenge. It is not just a public statement of interest. They need one of these rich guys to come into work on Monday and tell their staff "I am giving up my regular duties for the next 2 months because it is going to be a full time job to save the Kings. If I am successful then this will consume me for the next 6-12 months at minimum." They need that person to come out and start writing big checks to bring in lawyers and support staff and to agree that not only will they buy a team, but that they are willing to buy them at the huge numbers being thrown around.
Perhaps most importantly they have to deal with the fact that if they come out with the best of intentions, but after reviewing it determine that they simply cannot financially pay the price this team is going to trade for or disrupt their business and family to the degree this is going to require then the public is potentially going to view them as quitters or not willing to spend enough to make it happen. If they are not careful they could become one of the bad guys.
I don't think it bodes well for them that since the original surge of interest their people have already backed off:
JMA Developers, who reportedly proposed a second site alternative (don't even get me started on how disruptive that added complication will be) at their Downtown Plaza mall issued a statement today that they would not be bidding for the team. This group reportedly features potential angel Ron Burkle. Let me just say for the record that a preliminary feasibility study for an arena is not a plan. The city of Tacoma and Emerald City Center are other groups that have a feasibility studies for NBA buildings..
Sleep Train CEO Dale Carlson downplayed reports that he could be a savior and stated that he can't afford to buy the team.
A third buyer Mark Mastrov has a reported net worth of $350 million and that has to be concerning.
So which one of these guys, or some other player is going to step up and get it done in 6 weeks? We don't know.
I strongly encourage you not to respond so emotionally to every single rumor. It's going to be a crazy time.