NBA team purchases are not easy nor quick. There's a substantial vetting process that the NBA undergoes that takes upwards of three months ... and that's after a buyer and a seller already have a deal. Until the point at which the Board of Governors approves a deal and welcomes a new member to its club, the buyer cannot communicate basketball-related decisions to the seller. Whether that rule is fastidiously followed or enforced is a relative mystery. Let's imagine it is.
Let's imagine that when the NBA relocation/finance supercommittee makes its recommendation on Monday, it picks Sacramento. And let's imagine that on May 13, the Board gives that recommendation the official thumbs up. What does that mean? Vivek Ranadivé does not have a signed deal with the Maloofs, because the Maloofs won't sign it. So there's not actually an official purchase agreement for the Board to approve. And remember that the Sacramento group's deal is basically a term sheet that matches the Seattle purchase agreement as closely as possible. There are surely some differences. If the Board rejects Seattle, does Ranadivé then have to negotiate out the final parameters with the Maloofs? If so, GAHHHHHHH, first of all. GAHHHHHHH, I said. But what's the timeframe there? How heavy-handed will David Stern then be to assure it gets done?
At that point, will Ranadivé then need to be re-vetted by the Board with a formal purchase agreement in hand? You wouldn't think so, but if any parameters of the deal change, there might need to be a brief review before a Board vote.
The Board's decision on which city will have the Kings next year is May 13. Four weeks after the league's first coach replacement decisions have been made. Six weeks before the draft. Seven weeks before free agency. Even if the whole post-decision process -- negotiate with the Maloofs GAHHHHHHHHHH sorry, get Board approval for the purchase -- takes only a month, simply getting a new GM into place is going to be a huge challenge. If for some reason things take longer and we're into July without final approval for Vivek, the offseason is really lost, and we waltz into 2013-14 with another Maloof team.
I mean, at least we'll still have a team, OF COURSE. But man. That's not really how I want things to go.
First thing is first: having a team in Sacramento next season is wonderful. I just also hope it's a team that Vivek has begun to rebuild. Timing is everything on that front.