I apologize if that title sounds flippant; you probably don't want to hear from another Sonics fan, but I do sincerely feel bad about the Kings being (tentatively) sold to Chris Hansen. Believe it or not, I am actively rooting for Sacramento to bring in its "whales" and their arena deal and keep the Kings in town. I know that the NBA won't just turn their backs on Hansen and the SoDo arena deal, but I also know that the NBA Board of Governor's meeting isn't actually about choosing between Hansen and the whales. The awful Maloofs have already agreed to sell the team to Hansen/Ballmer, and what the BoG is looking for is to make sure that Hansen isn't a psychopath (he isn't), isn't some paper tiger that is faking his fortune (he isn't), and isn't going to move the team to some insignificant town, like, for example, Virginia Beach (he isn't). If the BoG rules against Hansen, even if it's the right thing to do, Hansen would have plenty of ammunition to take the NBA to court.
Now, I am no lawyer, and I have no clue what the legal ramifications are if the BoG rejects a perfectly legitimate sale, but even if the NBA offered Hansen an expansion team, he could still argue that he is losing value by giving up the King's roster for what scraps he can get in an expansion draft. I really don't follow the NBA that closely, but....yeah, I know how bad the Kings are; Hansen could still make the argument, anyway. So, let's say an accommodation can be met right now:The Kings get sold to the whales and stay in Sacramento, Seattle gets an expansion team, but get to take any two players of their choosing off of the Kings roster after the season ends,
as well as swap 1st round picks (traditionally, an expansion team gets the 1st pick after the lottery ends, which I think is still the 13th pick). (ed note: Apparently, expansion teams get the 4th overall pick these days, so let's just take draft picks completely out of this equation, to make things simple.)
Would that be an acceptable conclusion to this contentious drama? Or would you prefer to go into the BoG meetings as is, and see if they rule in your favor without making any concessions (or exploiting any other loophole that might nullify the Hansen sale)? Whatever happens, I do believe that Sacramento has proven itself worthy of keeping an NBA team, and even if this sale goes through the NBA would be beyond foolish to just abandon this market, and repeat the same mistakes it made with Clay Bennett. There has to be an way to let two viable, passionate fanbases have teams to root for.