Shocking as it sounds not coming from me, but from a journalist, it is up to the Mallofs who they sell their franchise to.
I will pick out the points from a story by David Aldridge that would be meaningful to a group of people that made an otherwise pointless trade just to pocket a few million dollars.
The Maloofs -- specifically Joe, Gavin, Colleen, George, Phil and Adrienne Maloof-Nassif -- still own the Kings. And that still holds significant sway among NBA owners.
Owners do not like to tell other owners to whom they should sell their teams.
Informed sources that know the thinking of league owners still believe the ultimate decision on where the Kings will play next season won't be made by the owners on the finance or relocation committees. The final call is, and remains, the Maloofs' to make.
That doesn't mean the Maloofs couldn't ultimately decide to change their minds and swing their backing away from the Seattle group, if they are blown away by the Mastrov/Burkle deal. But it won't come because the league says so, or because David Stern pushes behind the scenes. It will come because they believe it is the best deal financially for them.
Mastrov formally applied to buy the Kings in an electronic communication to the league, and in a letter to the Maloofs expressing his interest, on Friday.
On Sunday, a source involved in the machinations between the team and the two cities put it this way: for the Maloofs to listen to any entreaties to move away from the Hansen group, there would have to be an extremely good reason. And that reason would have to be extremely well articulated.
Understand this, also, though: I believe the league, ultimately, wants to wash its hands of the Maloofs. And I think Stern is genuine in his desire to give Sacramento a legitimate, fair shot at arguing its position to the Board of Governors on April 18. There will be no thumbs on the scale before or during the BOG meeting.
Owners -- first on the Finance and Relocation Committees, and then the full Board -- will have to choose between two bids (though I'm told the Hansen bid is higher), similar in makeup (the Commish loves bids where one guy writes a big check, something both the Hansen and Mastrov groups have) and in intangibles (larger corporate money and TV market in Seattle; ultra-loyal fanbase and only-game-in-town pull of Sacramento).
Maloofs still hold key in ever-shifting landscape of Kings' sale, by David Aldridge
David Aldridge goes on and on about how the Sacramento proposal came together. It's probably interesting reading for people in Sacramento, and people in Seattle that think the Maloofs will leave money on the table. But the reality is that the Maloofs really do own the franchise.
The puzzling part of Aldridge's report is his notion that the Maloofs could just change their minds. Um,I think $30 million in non-refundable dollars buys you more than the right to make an offer.
See, the Mallofs can receive other offers during league approval of the Purchase and Sale Agreement, but get this straight, the Kings have been sold to Chris Hansen. The Maloofs have already agreed in writing to sell. That $30 million dollars is non-refundable IF the league says no.
The Maloofs will get a $30 million non-refundable down payment by Feb. 1, according to the deal, the person said. They will still be allowed to receive other offers until the league approves the sale.
Another fun fact to think about is the potential for the relocation fee to be $75 million dollars. I know that plenty of folks that will somehow mistake the NBA Cares campaign with the league owners being benevolent overlords, well, they're not. They are in business to make money, and there are $75 million reasons for them to say yes, and thank you.
I was going to write something about the ILUW but i find them unappealing.