I follow the situations in Sacramento and Seattle about as close as anyone outside of Sacramento and Seattle and I can say that this definitely seems like a leverage ploy. Here's what I think is happening.
I believe that the Maloofs want to sell the team and that's why they pulled out of the arena deal with Sacramento. They are in financial dire straights and holding on to the team and waiting 3 years for a new arena to get done in Sacramento is just too long for them. By that time, it's very possible that they will have had to file for bankruptcy. However, in order to keep any form of leverage, they are making it look like they want to keep the team and are making ridiculous claims of renovating the current arena. The fact that it's impossible from an engineering standpoint to do any renovations to that cheap structure is more proof that they are lying and have alterior motives.
From there, they would try to sell to someone who will keep the team in Sacramento but there just aren't any good offers coming in. Plus, they are so stretched thin that they can't just take any deal. They only own 52% of the Kings and still owe the city and the league for all the money that they have borrowed. If they sell the Kings for $300 million then that's a tad above $150 for them. It's been speculated that they owe about that much so if you want the new owner to take on the debt, you are basically giving the team away for free with only the minority partners making off with the sale money. That's not going to happen.
Enter Seattle. We know that they have deep pockets and that a team in Seattle is worth more than one in Sacramento. If they can get north of $400 million than they can not only get Hansen to take on the debt but actually walk away with close to $50 million of their own money. For a broke family, that makes a huge difference.
Here's the twist though. While the Seattle deal is probably going to go through, they see a possibility that it might not happen due to the Mariners and the Port putting up a fight. They see this as their one big shot at a huge payday and they don't want Hansen to screw up negotiations on a new MOU. Therefore, they are creating more leverage by planting phoney relocation to VB
rumors in hopes of Hansen doing what it takes to get the arena deal done and maybe even upping his offer.
Which brings me to the newest twist. It just came to light that Hansen offered $400 million for the team but was turned down. The speculation is that the Maloofs want to sell to anyone whether it be Hansen or someone else with dough but they are trying to get the best deal possible. However, it didn't become public until yesterday. The fact that it became public on the day that the VB
rumors kicked smells fishy. That's just too coincidental. The Magoofs are up to something and VB
is just too far fetched if you know their history. This is a leverage ploy in every way possible.