Chris Hansen has played what may be one of his last cards in his attempt to purchase the Sacramento Kings from the Maloof brothers and move the franchise to Seattle. Hansen has upped the price of his bid for the franchise to $625 million, a $75 million increase from his last bid, according to Chris Daniels of KING5.com. Hansen later confirmed the news.
Whether this move results in the NBA's relocation committee reneging on its unanimous recommendation to keep the team in Sacramento remains to be seen. The prospective Sacramento ownership group, led by Vivek Ranadive, has still not finished liquidating its money to put the requested $341 million for 65 percent of the franchise in escrow, according to CSN Bay Area's Ric Bucher. Hansen has already put $357 million for 65 percent of the franchise in escrow.
Hansen's move also has multiple potential effects if the league still awards the franchise to the Sacramento group. It could signal to the league that Hansen is serious about acquiring a franchise, so he could be promised an expansion team sooner. If that doesn't happen, Hansen's increased bid improves his case in a potential anti-trust lawsuit.
This is the third time Hansen's group has raised its bid. The full group of NBA owners is expected to vote on the potential purchase and relocation of the franchise on May 15. They had been expected to follow the relocation committee's recommendation.