NBA commissioner David Stern revealed in a press conference on Friday that he expects the league's joint relocation/finance advisory committee to meet next week to discuss the sale of the Sacramento Kings franchise, and that a final vote will likely come early in May.
The committee will then make a recommendation and write a report that will be distributed to all owners. A final vote of the full NBA Board of Governors will come at least seven business days after the report is issued, per the league bylaws. He did say that the issue will be resolved before the NBA Draft Lottery, which is on May 21.
Stern says there will be a resolution before the draft lottery.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) April 19, 2013
Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver: "While we would all like to see this move faster, we can't short-circuit the process."— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) April 19, 2013
Stern also addressed some of issues surrounding the offers.
Stern reveals that the Sacramento group has a binding offer with a downpayment and that both offers are "in the same ballpark."— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) April 19, 2013
When asked bluntly about the quality of the offer from the Sacramento-based group of investors, the commissioner said there is nothing wrong with Sacramento's offer to purchase the franchise. He also noted the Seattle and the Sacramento groups both have a very strong base of economic support.
The Maloofs have reportedly written a letter expressing their preference for the Seattle offer, but Stern made sure to point out that relocation of an NBA franchise is not something an individual ownership group has the authority to decide.
"The relocation of a team is for the OWNERS to decide. Not the individual owner" - Stern— Sactown Royalty (@sactownroyalty) April 19, 2013
One of the biggest issues still under consideration for the joint committee has to do with the construction of a new arena for the team. As Stern said: "We're most concerned with the critical path of arenas getting built."
Asked directly if he's trying to influence discussion, Stern says no. "At the end of the day, the committee...will have to take a vote."— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) April 19, 2013
When asked whether expansion was an option on the table to appease both cities, the commissioner said the topic is not a "complete non-starter," but admitted that there was no discussion of expansion in the recent meetings. In other words, it may come down to that final vote, which is still at least a week or two away.
Stern: "there's no attempt to get unanimity. There's only an attempt to get answers to any possible questions owners have."— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) April 19, 2013
Asked if league is risking alienating Seattle it rejects sale, Stern says, "..there's going to be a disappointed city, one way or another."— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) April 19, 2013