Sacramento and Seattle Present their Plans to the NBA

Sacramento and Seattle have presented competing plans to the NBA; what happens next?

4/4/13 in NBA   |   droth   |   127 respect

These situations are obviously different from the current one - in part because there are two viable options this time around - but there is a theme here: the NBA tends to let owners do what they want.  For all of the moral and merit-based arguments in favor of one city or the other or the marketing potential of one group over the other, the fact of the matter is that the Maloofs and the Seattle buyers reached a deal.  Hansen and Ballmer were smart.  Cynics in Sacramento believe that the Maloofs - after insisting for years that the team wasn't for sale - agreed to the Seattle deal because they want to stick it to the city for failing to provide a new arena.  I think the simpler and more realistic explanation was that the Hansen-Ballmer offer was too rich to pass up.  

Every year, Forbes releases its list of the most valuable NBA teams along with an estimated valuation.  In 2009, the Kings were 22nd with a valuation of $305 million.  In 2010, they came in 24th at $293 million.  In 2011, they ranked 23rd at $300 million.  While the market doesn't necessarily abide by Forbes' calculations, it shows the consistently unimpressive perceived value of the franchise.  The Hansen-Ballmer offer valued the franchise at a whopping $525 million, more than enough to get the Maloofs' attention.  Because of this offer, Forbes' most recent franchise valuation lists the Kings as the 11th most valuable franchise, ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers.

Dec 23, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; General view of the Space Needle and the downtown Seattle skyline before the NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
Maybe valuing the Kings ahead of the Clippers isn't so smart, but making a bold statement and putting a lot of money in front the Kings cash-strapped owners certainly was.  Perhaps that was precisely what was needed for the Maloofs to finally loosen their death grip on the Kings.

Given the Board of Governors' recent track record when it comes to team sales, it seems unlikely that the NBA will go against the decision of one of its owners, even though those owners are not especially well-liked, to say the least. And, to the dismay of many in the Sacramento region, the Maloofs do own the team and have the right to do with it what they please.

Over the last few weeks, Sacramento has been making headlines and revealing more and more information about its coup to keep the team in advance of yesterday's presentations.  Observers note that Sacramento has the momentum but the fact of the matter is that it's Seattle's to lose.  They have the agreement in place and if the Kings are to stay in Sacramento, the NBA will need to do something it's done just once in recent history: block the sale and relocation of a team.  That happened back in 1994 when New Orleans attempted to lure the Timberwolves out of Minnesota but the league's owners voted unanimously against the move because of weaknesses in the financing plan.  Unfortunately for Sacramento, Hansen and Ballmer won't have any issues coming up with the dough and have already been willing to go above and beyond when it comes to writing big  
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4/4/13   |   Jess   |   34863 respect

I definitely like the name "SuperKings" more than "SuperSonics". 

This whole back and forth has been exhausting. I'm not an NBA fan (prefer NCAABB - Go Zags!) But, being a Seahawks fan, I obviously follow a lot of Sonics freaks on twitter and they've been ridiculous. Extreme highs when anything optimistic comes out from the Hansen group and extreme lows when KJ tweets anything remotely hopeful on Sacramento's side. I just want them to decide soon one way or another so we can move on to whatever step is next, whether it be finding the next possible option or breaking ground.