Seattle's Bid For The Kings Increases, A Week Before The NBA Votes

Illustration for article titled Seattle's Bid For The Kings Increases, A Week Before The NBA Votes

Chris Hansen, whose bid to buy the Kings and move them to Seattle was thwarted by unanimous vote of the NBA's relocation committee, has upped his offer significantly. He's willing to pay $65 million more for the Maloofs' shares in the Kings, an amount that would put the franchise's valuation at a healthy $625 million.


Hansen announced the revised offer today on his site, but don't expect the owners to reverse course at their full vote, scheduled for next week. It's not, nor has it ever been, about the purchase price. Under pressure from Seattle, Sacramento agreed to publicly finance a new arena, and we later learned that the prospective Kings owners agreed to opt out of revenue sharing. This is what the other owners wanted all along: a better investment of a franchise, one that'll be profitable for the league, all without having to abandon a market. Micky Arison's Twitter DMs said as much.

The new Hansen offer also contains a "guarantee to the NBA that the Franchise would be a revenue sharing payer in all years in Seattle," seemingly the same offer as Sacramento. We should be absolutely horrified that this is about to become a common negotiating chip. And Hansen may get to follow through someday: the NBA will continue using Seattle as a bogeyman for other teams seeking new arenas, at least until the economy's strong enough for league expansion.

At worst, Hansen's new offer could cause the owners to postpone the vote, which would mean more time for something to go wrong with Sacramento's bid. But these extra few tens of millions, this revenue sharing concession, these are more about Chris Hansen than the Sonics. Some people in Seattle are very angry to not be getting a team, and Hansen's making certain that no one can say he didn't offer enough.