David Stern on the Sacramento Bid


Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

While Commissioner David Stern didn’t ride into California on a white stallion wearing a cowboy hat, it was pretty clear he is calling the shots insofar as to the Sacramento investor group looking to buy the Sacramento Kings and keep the team in town.

Stern made it very clear the Sacramento bid for the Sacramento Kings is low in its current state if it hopes to be considered next month at the Board of Governors meeting.

Speaking last night in Oakland the commissioner offered these snippets:

"The counter bid, if you call it that…is not quite there."

"(The bid) needs a little work…"

"Unless it increases it doesn’t get to the state of consideration based upon the owners."

It is pretty clear from his statements that the commissioner would like to see a bigger dollar amount on the offer, if the bid hopes to get beyond go.

The Sacramento Bee’s, Tony Bizjak, Dale Kasler and Ryan Lillis reported:

"The commissioner declined to say how far short the Sacramento bid fell of the reported $341 million Seattle offer for a 65 percent share of the team."

A little math $525 million = $341 million/.65, which gets us to one critical aspect of the bid, namely $525 million. This is an important number to Stern and NBA franchise owners. I think it fair to say that Stern likes this number because it increases the valuation of NBA franchises across the board.

Just as in real estate, if someone comes into your neighborhood and pays $525 thousand dollars for a home everyone assumed was worth around $325 thousand dollars, everyone in the neighborhood benefits with an increase in the value of their home due to this sale.

This is what the franchise owners are going to be thinking about when they have to decide whether the team relocates to Seattle or remains in Sacramento. They aren’t going to be thinking about the Sacramento Kings fans. They are going to be thinking about the sales price of the team and how it affects the value of their own franchise.

No one, other than the Maloof family is going to give a rat’s


behind what the Maloofs net out of the deal.

Unfortunately, neither Kevin Johnson nor the Sacramento group, consisting of Mark Mastrov and Ron Burkle, have the luxury of knowing how the Seattle group put their offer together for the team.

Stern’s words last night do provide Sacramento with the information they need to increase their offer, at least dollar-wise, to meet the approval of owners. That does not have to mean, however, that increased money necessarily has to increase the net to the Maloofs.

The idea was kicked around for sometime that Sacramento could offer less money than Seattle for the team, since there was no relocation costs or payoff of the loan to Sacramento to be considered in any offer for the team. It isn’t clear whether there is any provision in the Seattle offer whether it includes a payoff to Sacramento.

There is always the possibility Sacramento could include some measure of paying off the loan to the City in the offer, or another option which would not net the Maloofs any additional money, but would increase the amount of the offer to satisfy the NBA.

This is not over.