NBA Mulling Kings Move

The Maloof family that owns the NBA’s Sacramento Kings hasn’t scored a win just yet in its push to relocate the team to southern California.

The NBA recently extended a deadline for the Maloofs to request to move the Kings to Anaheim’s Honda Center. The May 2 extension will apparently give the NBA time to clear up several questions raised during a recent meeting of league owners in New York.

For starters, NBA Commissioner David Stern said the league plans to “do a little bit more fact-finding” after learning Sacramento officials had identified new funding streams to keep the team put.

While Sacto Mayor Kevin Johnson reportedly told owners several corporations recently offered millions in sponsorship dollars to support the team, perhaps the most interesting development during the meeting was news that billionaire investor Ron Burkle and developer Darius Anderson have emerged as potential buyers for the Kings.

“It’s not about trying to move the Maloofs out,” Anderson told the Sacramento Bee. “We’re presenting an alternative in case the [move to Anaheim] gets turned down, in case they opt to sell. And it shows that there is viable support in Sacramento.”

Representatives for the Maloofs have denied the team is up for sale and Stern has also said Burkle’s interest is “not a high priority on our agenda.”

What could still be a high priority for the NBA is the Maloofs’ debt load.

A consultant reportedly close to the family’s finances told the Bee that NBA commissioners are most likely looking “long and hard” at the Maloofs’ $77 million debt to Sacramento. Should the team move south, the Maloofs would likely borrow $50 million from Honda Center owner Henry Samueli to cover relocation costs.

The Kings move may also face a challenge from other teams in the region, as the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers are reportedly attempting to kill the deal.

The Maloofs have until May 2 to file paperwork to request the relocation.