Maloofs Set Deadline For Sacramento Bidders

6:25pm: The Maloofs want the Sacramento bidders to include a $30MM non-refundable down payment in their bid, just like the one the Seattle investors paid, according to Sean Cunningham of News10 KXTV in Sacramento (Twitter link). Sources tell fellow News10 reporter Nick Monacelli that Ranadive is willing to cover that payment if necessary (Twitter link).

5:11pm: The current principal owners of the Kings have informed a group of investors seeking to keep the team in Sacramento that they want a binding offer in writing for the team by 5:00pm Pacific Time on Friday, report Tony Bizjak, Ryan Lillis and Dale Kasler of The Sacramento Bee. If the offer doesn't arrive in time or match the $341MM price that the Maloof family has agreed upon for its share of the team with Seattle-based bidders, the Maloofs say they won't have any more talks with the Sacramento group.

Aaron Bruski of cautions that the league, and not the Maloofs, is in charge of deciding the Kings' next move, and a source downplayed talk of a deadline, characterizing it as a publicity stunt (All four Twitter links). According to The Bee report, the NBA forwarded a statement of interest from the Sacramento bidders to the Maloofs a few weeks ago, but commissioner David Stern said the amount of that offer was well short of the money the Seattle group has ponied up. Yet, more recently, at last week's presentations from both bidding groups, Stern said the size of the offers was no longer an issue. California State Senate President Darrell Steinberg, who spoke in support of Sacramento during its presentation, assured The Bee that the city's offer is equivalent to Seattle's.

While the deadline may have no bearing on whether or not the league approves the sale of the team to the Chris Hansen-led Seattle group and a subsequent move up the coast, it seems as though it may complicate the matter of what happens to the Kings if the league blocks the Hansen sale. Since the NBA is deciding whether to allow that sale, and not simply choosing between the two competing bidders, there's no compulsion for the Maloofs to sell to the Sacramento group. Indeed, there have been whispers that the Maloofs may hold on to the team if they can't sell to Hansen and company. 

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