I've thought a great deal about this peculiar situation in which we, Seattle and the NBA find ourselves. I may be deluding myself but I have come to believe the ingredients are being mixed for the perfect solution. Here's what I believe is about to go down.
As we all know, David Stern is retiring. When leaving a post that is at the top of an organization, many leaders try to exit while leaving a lasting, positive legacy. I truly believe Stern wants to be remembered as the greatest commissioner of all time. Yet the Seattle to OKC debacle, among other things (2002 Game 6), will be what he is remembered for. UNLESS, that is, he does what I think he will do: Sacramento and Seattle are getting teams.
I know Stern said publicly that expansion is not on the table right now. But if you want two cities to put up the best possible offer, you have to make them compete. If he said expansion was in the cards, Seattle'd be all like "sweet, bro, offer to the fucktards rescinded" while Sac would be all like "Hey Burkle dude, make these fuckwits an offer they can't refuse."
By saying "no expansion" Stern has forced both cities to present over-value offers backed by billionaires who can afford to play. How could the NBA - a league that built its fortune blackmailing cities into building arenas - say no to Sacramento or Seattle's ownership group? It would be ludicrous to give up that kind of coin. The NBA will give Seattle and expansion team, the Maloofs will be "encouraged" to sell to the Sacramento group, and under-performing franchises like Charlotte, New Orleans and Milwaukee will be dealt with in a year or two.
The long term financial gains of giving both cities a team far, far outweigh the short-term loses an additional team might cause. Meanwhile, Stern will be exiting, beloved for solving the Sacramento situation and correcting the Seattle mistake.
Mark my words - both cities are going to win.