Kevin Johnson parachuted into Las Vegas on Friday to surprise George Maloof before returning to Sacramento to take in the Kings' loss to the Thunder. The word is that while there was no real progress on Friday, the two sides will at least talk again next week.
The question: about what? Are the Maloofs planning to come off of their sticking points? Is the city willing to move, and if so, does that require a new term sheet with new City Council approval? Is AEG going to be on board? Let's not forget that no cordial talks can reverse the Maloofs' press conference in which the deal was torn down as bad for Sacramento. I want this to work out as much as anyone, but that display of self-determination is irreversible. What, is AEG going to run more conservative numbers that the Maloofs can get on board with? It hardly seems possible.
I trust KJ to do right by Sacramento. At the same time, I fear the Maloofs are sucking him in to negotiations that shouldn't be happening. Before Q&R, there were talks on what the term sheet and ballot measure would look like. There appeared to be a breakdown ... and the city/regional group pushed to get back in the room with the Maloofs to hash out a 'last-minute deal.' The Maloofs tanked it anyways.
I hold out hope, because I'm here for the long haul and I hope that the Kings will be, too. But I remain unconvinced that the Maloofs can be trusted at any point of this process.