Oh boy, he’s done it again.
Everybody’s favorite former Sacramento Kings beat writer and current NBA Insider at USA Today, Sam Amick, let loose a gauntlet of news tonight – none of which will sit well with the purple and black faithful.
Amick touched on just about every volatile topic in the Kingdom, starting with the odd DeMarcus Cousins suspension. When the former Kentucky Wildcat was suspended by the Kings last week, the term “indefinitely” was attached to the punishment – though literally in a matter of hours, the label was taken off and Cousins was back at practice in a days time. Although he didn’t play in the following game against Portland nor did he travel with the team, Cousins did suit up Friday night against the New York Knicks making his “indefinite” suspension last a few days overall. The oddity there becomes a bit more clear though thanks to Amick, who points out that it was Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof who all but kiboshed Keith Smart‘s suspension for Cousins, essentially hand-forcing Cousins back into action:
Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof initiated a dialogue with Cousins on Dec. 23, had him discuss the situation with Smart and then made it clear that Cousins would return to the team the following day at practice.
There was little involvement from Kings General Manager Geoff Petrie in the suspension process, who Amick also touched on in his piece – all but confirming what we’ve known for a while – the long tenured GM is on his way out at season end. Even if the Maloof’s were interested in bringing Petrie back, who’s been sleeping at the wheel for a handful of years, Amick suggested that Petrie himself would refuse as he’s looking forward to retirement – something I’m pretty sure he’s already been practicing doing for the last few seasons.
Lastly, Amick delivers one more bombshell in his piece, namely the Maloof’s continued desire to relocate – though this time there is actual talk of selling the Kings franchise, for quite the hefty sum:
According to people with knowledge of the situation, the Maloofs continue to discuss their preferred option of relocation with several cities and have let it be known in all the appropriate circles that bidding for the unlikely sale of the club should begin at an astounding $500 million.
Yes, that’s right – the Maloof’s are asking for $500 million for the Kings, a sum they’d be lucky to get half of given the state of the franchise. It’s certainly something new – a small window to a potential sale, something they’ve all but refused to admit to even those closest in their circle, but the figure is so astronomically out there it’s essentially false hope for King fans hoping the vilified owners would let go of their death grip on the beloved franchise.
Still, as Amick pointed out, the Maloof’s are quietly racking up their frequent flier miles to other cities, hoping for a bailout to their financial woes in exchange for an NBA franchise for their city – all while lining their pockets with the funds of King loyalists.
There’s plenty more heavy hitting news in Amick’s piece, like the Kings requesting psychological treatment for DeMarcus Cousins (who declined) and potential landing spots if the Kings were to make a franchise altering move with the big man.