Last week, the Sacramento group led by Vivek Ranadivé put 50% of the team purchase price in an escrow account after the NBA's relocation committee voted 7-0 against relocation of the team to Seattle. The NBA had reportedly discussed a 20% deposit at first according to an early report by Sam Amick.
Now the Bee is reporting that the NBA is encouraging (not demanding) that the Sacramento group put the rest of the reported sales price of $341 million into escrow as a way to potentially alleviate any concerns the Maloofs have over dealing with the Sacramento group.
The Maloof family has expressed concerns privately about the financing of the Ranadive group, which includes the Jacobs family of San Diego, owners of Qualcomm Co.
Ranadive's group already has put 50 percent of its team purchase offer into an escrow account, sources said. Putting the entire amount down would help "alleviate the Maloofs' concern, and greatly increase the likelihood a deal could get done," the source said.
There is no indication as of yet whether or not the Ranadivé group will follow this suggestion. The Seattle group led by Chris Hansen has already put 100% of its higher $357 million offer into escrow according to the Bee.
The Bee also reports that it is still unknown exactly what will be voted on by the NBA's Board of Governors in Dallas on May 15th. Votes can be taken on relocation, the sale of the team to the Hansen-Ballmer group and potentially even the sale of the team to the Ranadivé group, if the Maloofs and Ranadivé can come to an agreement on a back-up offer at that time.
In my opinion, the league would like this issue dealt with once and for all as soon as possible. As of now the Maloofs and Ranadivé group have not yet come to an agreement on a back-up offer, and if that is still not the case by May 15th, this saga will drag on much longer, even if the NBA denies relocation and the sale to Hansen-Ballmer at that meeting as expected. If a deposit of 100% gets the Maloofs to sign that back-up offer, I'm all for it. The sooner this is officially over, the better.
As always, we will update this story if any more information comes in.