One big, super major piece of the pie is settled: the relocation committee has unanimously rejected the Maloofs' application to move the Kings to Seattle. Barring a Board of Governors vote in direct opposition of that recommendation -- which no one projects to happen -- the Kings will be in Sacramento next year.
But the Maloofs still own the Kings. What happens next?
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Sacramento's group was asked by the NBA to deposit a significant portion of its purchase price for the team in an escrow account by this coming Friday. A deposit of 20% was discussed, but - as of late Sunday night - it wasn't not known what percentage they would ultimately be asked to secure. After the recommendation was announced on Monday, the person said the group now intends to deposit 50% of the purchase price in escrow.
This looks like the removal of the Maloofs with the relocation committee's (unanimous) approval. The Maloofs have leaked a letter questioning the Ranadivé group's ability to pay. Vivek and Friends are tossing $170 million in escrow within days. That'll do. Depending on Chris Hansen's position on his purchase agreement for the team, the Maloofs should be clear to take Vivek's money and go spend it on whatever they plan to spend it on.
We need to hear from the Maloofs and their buddy Eric Rose, of course. I suspect we'll get a Maloof anti-trust lawsuit rumor before long. The hard part of convincing the NBA to keep the Kings in Sacramento appears done. But the Maloofs' fingers are still in the bowl. Caution is advised.