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What’s next in sale of Kings? Do all roads point north?

Jan 21, 2013, 10:01 AM EDT

Seattle SuperSonics v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

The Maloofs have made their decision — they have reached a deal to sell the Sacramento Kings to Chris Hansen and his Seattle based group. As we reported, that sale will be formally announced in the coming days, and by Feb. 1 the Maloof family will get a $30 million deposit.

But that is not the end of the saga. So what’s next? Does Sacramento have any chance of keeping their team?

Here’s what happens from here on out.

• The new ownership group will make their application to the league for team relocation to Seattle for next season, something they must do by March 1. This is key, what nobody wants is a lame duck season where the Seattle group owns the team with plans to move but they play in an empty Sacramento arena.

The relocation committee is expected to easily approve the move, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Network. The Kings would play two seasons in Key Arena while their new stadium is built (not far from Safeco Field where the Mariners play). That stadium is going through an environmental review process now but has its financing and most governmental approvals in place already.

• The NBA’s Board of Governors — made up of the owners (or their appointed representative) — has to approve the sale, likely a vote will come when they meet in New York in April (giving the league time to do background checks on the new owners).

This is where Sacramento will makes its last stand — Mayor Kevin Johnson is scheduled to address the BOG and makes his pitch for the owners to reject the sale to Hansen and instead push the Maloofs to sell to a local ownership group. We have detailed how he is putting all of this together and it should be a good offer with legitimate big money. This group will include parties looking to build a new arena in Sacramento.

Johnson will have to show how keeping the team in Sacramento is better for the owners’ bottom line. Sacramento fans can preach image issues if they want, but money is what matters. If the lockout taught us one thing it is that. Which makes things a challenge for Sacramento because Seattle is a larger television market and the owners would get cash in their pockets from a from a relocation fee (which was $30 million for the Sonics to become the Thunder). But as we have detailed Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson believes he can make a compelling case because his group would not have to repay a loan to the city of Sacramento, nor would he have to pay relocate.

There are reports the owners just want to approve the sale and get this all behind them, but like always they will vote what is best for their pocketbooks.

• Negotiations with the Thunder over the name Sonics. Clay Bennett’s group, when it moved the team, kept the rights to the name Sonics but would be open to a transfer if a team moved to Seattle. It’s hard to see him standing in the way of this if the sale is approved, or David Stern letting him.

What is interesting is how you treat the history of the franchises. Do the old Seattle records move back to Seattle with the new franchise? What about the history and records of the Kings, a franchise with a long history going back through Kansas City to the early days of the NBA?

• Whatever happens with the sale of the team, look for a radical reorganization of the front office. Kings GM Geoff Petrie is in the last year of his deal and is reportedly going to retire at the end of the season.

Spurs head man R.C. Buford and former Pacers president Larry Bird are targets of the organization, reports Wojnarowski. Longtime NBA writer Peter Vecsey says Phil Jackson is in the mix for a front office spot. But even if the team stays it is expected that how the Kings are run as an organization will get an overhaul.

  1. lyndseymarieee - Jan 21, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Great! maybe then, Seattle residents will move on from the thunder.

    • dans761 - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:27 AM

      Maybe you’ll get a clue. Losing a team after 41 years you don’t just get over it. Kevin Durant Russell Westbrook and Nick Collison should still be in Seattle. Lose a team after 41 years then your opinion might matter

      • lyndseymarieee - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:02 PM

        Wouldn’t say that was an opinion. More of a statement. I also never said my opinion mattered. I mean, let’s face it. Does anyones opinion really matter on this blog? Negative.

  2. ebergevin - Jan 21, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Ownership should let the history of the Sonics lay to rest in Oklahoma and keep the “Kings” team name. A simple uniform change would suffice. I think it’s best for sports if we don’t see a similar Cleveland Browns situation play out once again. Yes, I know the Browns were an expansion team.

  3. MyTeamsAllStink - Jan 21, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    The final F YOU from the Maloofs to the city and fans of Sacramento just took place.The Maloofs aren’t fit to run a Taco Bell let alone an NBA franchise.

  4. seattlenative57 - Jan 21, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    The NBA is coming back to Seattle! Thank you, Chris Hansen.

    • MyTeamsAllStink - Jan 21, 2013 at 10:53 AM

      Have a seat over there Maloofs..

  5. mazblast - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    If this scenario plays out, no one involved comes out clean–

    –Kings fans whining about losing their team, not totally without justification, forgetting that they got the team the same way, a sale and move. In fact, the Kings are the most-traveled team in the major sports leagues.
    –Seattle fans whined about how they lost their team, not totally without justification, but willing to get another team at another city’s expense.
    –The Maloofs. ‘Nuff said. Not exactly the greatest team owners ever. The old man knew how to make money, the next generation knows how to whiz it away.
    –Hansen and his compatriots, willing to rip the heart out of Sacto’s fans.
    –David Stern, who at best bungled and at worst was complicit in the Sonics move to OKC.

  6. rufneklac5 - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    All Seattle sonic records belong to the Oklahoma City thunder as does the 1979 nba championship. In the original agreement Bennett would retain all franchise records and history with Seattle having the opportunity to have the rights to the name sonics once a team moved their. I would assume the new Seattle sonics would either keep the kings records or start new ones.

  7. praetorian12 - Jan 21, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    I’m a Seattle fan, so it goes without saying that I’m used to disappointment,snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, and getting screwed over by the powers that be.

    Therefore, I do not believe this is over by a long shot. But I am cautiously optimistic….

  8. snoqualmieterry - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    If Seattle gets this team and they become the Sonics again, wouldn’t we bring our retired jerseys of old Sonics players follow the name? That was a long sentence.

  9. studolgon - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    “a franchise with a long history going back through Kansas City to the early days of the NBA?”

    How about mentioning the Oscar Robertson years as the Cincinnati Royals or the beginnings of the franchise as the Rochester (NY) Royals?

  10. olympiacham - Jan 21, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Seattle resident here. Terrible ride for the Kings fans. Gotta give lots of love to Mayor KJ down there for all his effort.

    One big difference between Ok city ownership and Hanson is Hanson’s intentions are clear. He wants a team and to move it to Seattle. Ok City lied about their intentions. Seattle gov’t may have handled situation differently from the onset like KJ had they known the only end game for Ok city was to move the team.

    Bitter Sweet for Seattle fans.

    • lyndseymarieee - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:04 PM

      Ahem, Clay Bennett lied about his intention. Not the city and its people.

  11. tiennguyen645 - Jan 21, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Who care the King sale or not ??????

    • kanemoney - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:56 PM

      That no good Engrish

  12. raider8er - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    Mazblast, perfectly summed up!

  13. hawkblocked - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    I’m a Sonics fan, but as a child for whatever reason I had the Kevin Johnson signature basketball on my dirt backyard court. Didn’t really know who he was until then but always rooted for the Suns if they weren’t up against the Sonics. Which, on a side note, they usually handled us quite well. Dan Majerle… Damn…

    Anyway, I do feel for the fans of Sacramento, they loved their team and it’s no fault of theirs they might leave. When Bennett bought our team our forums an newspapers were flooded by OKC fans who gloated and insulted us daily. I hope that isn’t the case here. It sucks I know and you hate me, and other Sonics fans, and that’s ok. I just want to say that we were screwed by Schultz, Bennett and the city. Sacramento should remain large in the NBA’s radar because your city, and Kevin Johnson went to bat for your team. If he doesn’t succeed in stopping this sale, ridiculous as it may seem, you guys should get a team soon. In this version of the NBA the owners are allowed to hold a city hostage for a new stadium, Seattle tried to fight back and lost the team.

    Sacramento didn’t try to fight back, the owners dicked you, and for that I’m sorry.

    *wrote this on an iPhone, so typos about I’m sure..

  14. hawkblocked - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Oh yeah by fight back I meant fight against David Stern’s version of the NBA. Sacramento fought for their team, fans and city together.

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