With NBA meetings nearing that could decide the fate of the Sacramento Kings, a critical piece of information remained unclear Monday – whether Sacramento has submitted an updated, binding offer for the team.
As of Monday night, no reports had surfaced of Sacramento submitting an updated bit to match that of a Seattle group led by Chris Hansen.
That included a lengthy interview conducted Monday by the Sacramento Bee with Vivek Ranadive, who is now leading the Sacramento ownership group. The paper reported that Ranadive would not say during the interview if the group had submitted an updated, formal offer.
The newspaper reported last week that the Sacramento group had informed the NBA that it would match the original Seattle bid of $341 million for 65 percent of the team.
But several reports since have indicated a formal offer had yet to be made.
Hansen late Friday night announced that he would increase the bid to make the overall value of the franchise $550 million. That increased his bid by roughly $17 million to approximately $357 million.
The Bee also reported Monday that Ranadive would not say if the Sacramento group would match the updated Seattle bid. The Bee had reported during the weekend that the Sacramento group might not bother matching the increased bid, noting that the NBA could accept a lower offer.
Michael McCann, an on-air legal analyst for NBA-TV, said the league can accept a lower bid but that it might face some resistance.
“Yes, the NBA can do that,” he said. “As a private association that sets its own rules, the NBA has the capacity to evaluate bids as they see it. Bidders are not guaranteed having the highest bids means they win the bidding. But I suspect some owners would be uncomfortable voting for a lesser offer. Also the Maloofs (the current controlling owners) would have to agree to take a lesser offer.”
The NBA revealed last week it will begin deliberations on the Seattle/Sacramento issue on Wednesday, a day earlier than originally planned.
That meeting of the NBA’s Relocation and Finance Committee will come a day before the regularly scheduled NBA Board of Governors meetings Thursday and Friday in New York.
The Relocation and Finance Committee heard presentations from each city in New York on April 3. The owners who heard those presentations were Peter Holt (San Antonio Spurs), chairman of the Board of Governors; Glen Taylor (Minnesota Timberwolves); Clay Bennett (Oklahoma City Thunder); Jim Dolan (New York Knicks); Ted Leonsis (Washington Wizards); Larry Tanenbaum (Toronto Raptors); Herb Simon (Indiana Pacers); and Wyc Grousbeck (Boston Celtics).
The committee is expected to forward a recommendation to the NBA Board of Governors, which consists of all 30 NBA owners. Seattle will need 23 of the 30 owners to approve the sale.
Unlike the previous meeting, representatives of the cities will not make presentations to the committee but are expected to be available to answer questions or address issues that are raised.
NBA commissioner David Stern said after the previous meetings that it was uncertain if the Board of Governors will vote this week.
Stern usually addresses the media once the meetings have concluded Friday, and if there has been a vote it would likely be revealed then. The NBA has said there will be no media availability until the Friday news conference.