A whole new round of Burkle chatter is going to kick up after this Sacramento Bee story:
While the Kings would be tenants in the downtown arena, multiple sources said the city wants the team to make its contribution upfront - $60 million in cash and $25 million through the donation of land around Power Balance Pavilion. [...]
What's unclear is whether the Maloofs are willing or able to put in that much. [...]
But if the NBA likes the financial package, city officials expect the league could begin pressuring the Maloofs to bring in new investors or sell the team altogether.
A source familiar with the negotiations said Southern California billionaire Ron Burkle, who made overtures to the Maloofs last spring, is still interested in buying the team.
Instead of annual lease payments that would help the city replace parking funds that will have become privatized, the city wants the Maloofs' payments now to help build the arena. Given that the Maloofs haven't shown an ability to put together a $60 million roster, coming up with that much at the team level seems tough.
The Maloofs already have massive debt with the NBA's credit facility (up to $125 million), the city ($70 million) and, outside of basketball, only God knows where else. Remember: part of the attraction of the Anaheim deal was that Samueli was going to pay the Maloofs to move. It's pretty much the opposite here.
How will the NBA fall on this? Will they cover the difference? Will they look for owners who have the capital to eventually make it work in this market in a new building? Will they decide that the Maloofs shouldn't have to contribute about 15 percent of the capital costs of an arena they won't own?
This is faaaar from over.