It's cautious and possibly optimistic, but NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper -- who once wrote for the Sacramento Bee and knows the situation very well -- wrote a piece this week reporting that it appears unlikely the Maloofs will be able to file for relocation by the March 1, 2013, deadline, and could be "stuck" in Sacramento for the next couple of years.
Most notably, Scoop says that "there is no indication" that Anaheim is still in play. Given that Henry Samueli funded upgrades to Honda Center to bring it up to NBA standards recently, that's a surprise. But as we know, it'd be a seriously expensive move for the Maloofs. We're all pretty confident that the Kings only end up in Seattle if the Maloofs decide to sell, and I think we'd all take our chances of Sacramento making a bid to keep the team if the Maloofs do make that decision. (That isn't to say I'm confident a Sacramento buyer would outbid Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, just that I think we'd all rather see the Maloofs flip the team than continue to try to find somewhere to move it.)
He also downplays Virginia Beach, which I hope is right. I keep waiting on Kansas City to enter the conversation. And Las Vegas. And San Jose.
The more important question: if this is the new norm for a couple seasons ... how do we get fans engaged enough to pay jerks to let us watch a bad team lose? The fans will come back in droves of this team gets better. But without that, it's an incredibly tough sell. It's all on Geoff Petrie, Keith Smart and the players at this point.