A very interesting, but perhaps dubious report came out today as David Baumann of SportsTalk Florida wrote today that Seattle's chances to acquire the Kings appear to be fading, according to a league source he had spoken with.
One of the most interesting things Baumann's source is quoted as saying is the fact that Chris Hansen never delivered the reported non-refundable $30 million deposit to the Maloofs because they don't have NBA approval to move the team yet. That non-refundable deposit, first reported by Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, was supposed to be delivered by February 1st.
The source also talked about minority owner John Kehriotis' reported plan to buy the Kings and build a new arena with $750 million in private money.
"This 11th-hour bid is nothing more than a distraction, if anything," the source said.
Fox40's Jim Crandell reported that Kehriotis had $350 million already lined up with a verbal commitment for $400 million more. However, Mayor Johnson and the City are focused on their own plan that would include a public-private partnership and a new downtown arena. The Sacramento City council voted 7 to 2 yesterday in favor of formalizing arena negotiations, in the hopes of getting a term sheet by April. Mayor Johnson is rumored to be announcing his equity partners soon, perhaps tomorrow at the State of the City. Baumann's source estimates that the Mayor's partners are offering a $580 million bid, which seems high to me.
Finally the source offers this:
"If the Kings and Mayor Johnson can come up with a fully-financed Arena plan, there's no way the NBA will move the team out of Sacramento," the source said. "I think Mayor Johnson's group has pole position. He has spent the last four or five months lobbying the NBA. Commissioner Stern respects Kevin and the Mayor's group will be heard."
Just as with every report that heavily relies on anonymous sources, it's important to be cautious in what you believe. Florida sports radio doesn't exactly have the inside track on Seattle or Sacramento. Also, as I finish writing this, this happened:
I know the temptation to jump on anything Sacramento-related that is actually good news, but we have to be patient. Sacramento's plan will be revealed shortly, and an arena deal will hopefully come together soon after. Then it's up to the NBA Board of Governors to decide our future and I feel that they won't just dismiss all the effort Sacramento and Mayor Johnson have put into keeping the team here.