Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
It looks like the Kings won't be leaving Sacramento without a potential bidding war.
While many fans have accepted the Kings' move to Seattle as an inevitability, 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov has expressed his interest in purchasing the franchise to keep it in Sacramento, according to CBS Sports' Ken Berger.
Mastrov seems intent on purchasing an NBA team after finishing second in the bidding for the Golden State Warriors a few years back. One obvious speed bump would be bidding against the Seattle group's $500+ million offer, but Mastrov did share that he has "definitely" had "conversations" about doing that very thing.
Mastrov isn't the only multimillionaire about to let the Kings leave Sacramento without a fight. The Sacramento Bee's Dale Kasler also hears that Sleep Train CEO Dale Carlsen is interested in getting into the mix as well.
One aspect working in the local bidders' favor is the fact that they wouldn't have to match Seattle's proposal on a dollar-for-dollar basis since it would be cheaper for the franchise to remain in Sacramento. As Berger points out, a buyer group fronted by Mastrov or Kasler wouldn't have to divvy out the extra cash to break Sleep Train Arena's lease and they'd be able to save some expenses on reimbursing the city of Sacramento for their $77 million loan.
If Mastrov or Kasler are serious about purchasing the Kings, both seem like the perfect suitors to answer Sactown Royalty's petition for allowing a local bidder to match Seattle's best offer. But that's a pretty big if when it's looking like Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer are willing to spend any amount necessary to replace their dearly departed SuperSonics.