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Sacramento group asked to refund $30 million to Seattle if Kings stay, according to report

Sports Business Daily reports that the NBA has requested Vivek Ranadivé's group to refund the $30 million down payment made by Chris Hansen's group if the Kings stay in Sacramento.


If you read the headline and summary, you know this story.

It has previously been reported that this would not be a problem. One would hope, though, that this is included in the purchase price. The $30 million was a deposit by Chris Hansen; one would assume that you'd just subtract $30 million from the amount Vivek Ranadivé would pay the Maloofs and direct that to Hansen.

In which case this whole thing is pretty obvious. Even if non-refundable deposits on purchases that require outside approval were legal in California, the NBA was not likely to screw Hansen out of $30 million after blocking his purchase of the team.

The interesting thing to me is that the NBA is explicitly lining up the contingency plan in the case Sacramento wins. You don't do that unless there's a chance.