The NBA apparently wants Sacramento bidders to offer a deal that the Kings-owning Maloofs cannot refuse — virtually the same one made by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer. The Sacramento Bee reported Thursday that the usual unnamed source says the NBA is “encouraging” the group led by software tycoon Vivek Ranadive to put in escrow 100 percent of the price committed by Hansen/Ballmer to the Maloofs, which is said to be $341 million, based on 65 percent of the total valuation of $525 million.
Hansen has already put a $357 million offer in escrow, which was based on a $550 million. Apparently the NBA is not considering the additional $25 million Hansen added to his original valuation. The Bee has reported the Maloofs would accept the backup offer it was complete and binding.
The Sacramento group last week reportedly put down 50 percent of the price, but the Maloofs have said before that the offer was insufficient. The full total in escrow would allow the “backup offer” to match, and eliminate another impediment to a deal to keep the Kings in Sacramento.
Last week, the Ranadive group promised a kickback to the NBA of its portion of revenue sharing upon moving into the proposed $448 million downtown arena. That amount for the Kings this season was believed to be about $18 million. The point of the kickback was to eliminate Hansen’s argument that the Kings staying in Sacramento would be a taker in the NBA’s recently enhanced revenue sharing, but in bigger-market Seattle would be a payer.
NBA owners will meet in Dallas Wednesday in an extraordinary session to vote on a recommendation by the relocation committee that the Kings be kept in Sacramento. A separate finance committee has yet to vote on whether to accept the Maloofs purchase offer from Hansen.
The NBA’s hope is to get Hansen before such a vote on sale to withdraw his offer and allow the Maloofs to sell to Ranadive.