SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The NBA owners' committee vetting the proposed sale and relocation of the Sacramento Kings will meet next Monday to recommend whether the team should stay put or move to Seattle, a league spokesman said today.
The committee, consisting of 12 owners, will meet via conference call, said league spokesman Mike Bass. Commissioner David Stern had said the committee recommendation could come as early as today or Friday.
With the meeting now set for Monday, the Board of Governors couldn't vote on the Kings' future until the first full week of May at the earliest. Under NBA rules, the board, which consists of all the team owners, must wait seven business days before acting on the committee's recommendation.
"We're looking to early to mid-May for a board vote," Bass said.
The committee must decide between the Maloof family's pending sale to an investor group from Seattle and a counter-offer made by a group seeking to keep the team in Sacramento.
The Maloofs agreed to sell their 65 percent share of the team to hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer for a sweetened offer of $357 million. A group of eight investors, led by Silicon Valley executive Vivek Ranadive, has mounted a bid that matches Hansen-Ballmer's original offer of $341 million.
Last week, in a letter to the NBA, the Maloofs complained that the Ranadive bid is inadequate financially and not firm enough. But Stern told reporters last Friday that he considers the Ranadive proposal a binding offer. He added that the two bids are "in the same ballpark with respect to the net result to the selling family."
On Wednesday, state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, unveiling his long-awaited proposal to rewrite California's environmental law, said his plan would help speed up construction of a new Kings' arena at Downtown Plaza.
Stern has said a critical issue in determining the Kings' fate is the timeline for building a new arena in either city.
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Call The Bee's Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.