Last night, news broke that the Maloof family won't sell the Kings to the Sacramento-based bidding group, having instead structured a backup plan involving minority ownership for Seattle investors. The team seemed destined to remain in Sacramento when the NBA's relocation committee unanimously voted two weeks ago to recommend that the league reject the sale of a majority stake to the Seattle bidders, but last night's revelation appeared to threaten that arrangement. We followed up the news with a second thread of updates last night, and we'll keep track of today's developments here:
- SB Nation's Tom Ziller hears that the latest moves from the Maloofs and the Seattle group have angered the league office. The subject of whether David Stern has support from owners around the league in case the matter winds up in court will be a central topic of discussion in tomorrow's conference call, according to Ziller. TNT's David Aldridge reported last night that Hansen's group is uninterested in pressing charges in the event their bid is rejected, though The Bee's Marcos Breton raises the idea that the Maloofs could wind up suing the league.
- The notion that the Seattle group would own any portion of the Kings while they continued to play in Sacramento is a non-starter for the league, tweets Aaron Bruski of NBCSports.com.
- Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, who broke last night's story, heard some owners around the league remain concerned about the ability of Sacramento investors to close and execute their plan to build a new arena in the city. According to Bruski, there is no such concern among the league's owners (Twitter link).
- Bruski's league sources maintain that the NBA's decision will come down to how it feels about the Sacramento bidders, regardless of what Seattle does. One source insists that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, a primary investor in Chris Hansen's Seattle group, can't simply throw money around and expect to get his way. The Seattle investors have twice upped their offer for the majority share of the team (All Twitter links).
- The NBA's relocation committee will hold a conference call Monday, and the day "is going to be crazy," a source tells Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. The source expects "substantial movement" on the issues related to the team's future by the end of tomorrow.