The NBA is expected to make its final decision on the Sacramento Kings’ fate in mid May.
Speaking in New York City today, NBA commissioner David Stern told a contingent from the Associated Press Sports Editors organization that he believes a vote on the franchise’s future will come by or around May 13. That’s five days after the board of governors are eligible to cast their ballots following a recommendation on the matter from the league’s relocation/finance committee.
“Our concern is that there has to be a loser,” Stern said, according to a tweet from APSE. “One of the cities is going to be disappointed. That’s the hard part.”
According to multiple reports, members of the NBA’s relocation/finance committee will meet over a conference call next week to discuss whether to reject or accept the relocation and sale of the Kings to a group of Seattle investors. The full board would then have seven business days to consider the recommendation.
A decision on the Kings’ future is not expected to drag out beyond the middle of next month. Stern suggested to reporters at last week’s Board of Governors’ meetings that the issue would most likely be resolved before the annual draft lottery, which is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21st.
The Maloofs have an agreement to sell 65-percent controlling interest of the Kings to the Seattle contingent led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen for approximately $357.5 million. The Hansen group agreed to raise their bid by approximately $16 million following reports that the Sacramento group led by software magnate Vivek Ranadivé agreed to match the initial offer.
In a letter to league owners leaked to media last week, the Maloofs contended that the local offer is non-binding and includes a smaller deposit than the $30 million committed by the Hansen group. However, Stern stated that the offers are comparable in payoff for the current Kings’ owners.
“There is a down payment,” Stern said following the league’s Board of Governors’ meetings. “It is binding. We have had assurances of funding support and that has been documented to something in the neighborhood of 80 percent to our satisfaction. When I say satisfaction, the committee’s satisfaction.”
Both cities have agreed to come up with major plans to build new arenas to entice the NBA. As part of their efforts, Seattle and Sacramento are committing large public subsidies to projects that would be constructed in each city’s downtown area. The timeline of how long each city takes to build their new arenas is one of the issues the league’s joint committee is considering before making their recommendation.
Jonathan Santiago contributed to the authoring of this post.