SACRAMENTO (CBS13/AP) – The Sacramento Kings have filed a request for an extension on the NBA’s March 1 deadline to inform the league if the franchise intends to relocate next season.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank confirmed the report that KTHK-AM’s Mark Kreidler broke on Thursday morning, that the Kings had requested more time to make their decision. The Kings will have the opportunity to discuss their options at the NBA’s Board of Governors meetings April 14-15.
The move is the latest and perhaps strongest signal yet that the franchise is considering a move out of California’s capital city. Sacramento has struggled for years to build a new arena, which the Kings’ owners argue is crucial for long-term financial viability.
NBA Commissioner David Stern acknowledged during All-Star weekend that the Kings have had talks with officials in Anaheim, Calif., about relocating to its arena. But according to Kreidler, sources also said the NBA is not sold on the move. Sacramento is still in play, Kreidler was told, but these developments will not bring the Kings closer to solidifying an arena deal in Sacramento.
The Kings will turn a modest profit this season, due in part to having the smallest payroll in the league. The Kings lost money last season, but not that much, according to league standards — a claim that some find hard to believe.
“My gut says the Maloofs haven’t heard the magic words from Anaheim and that NBA is wary because of history there,” said Kreidler. “Also, they will take NO loan from Ducks owner Henry Samueli – ever.”
The Maloofs say they are not being financially leveraged into making a panic move, and will not sell the team. But if the Kings move to Anaheim, the Maloofs will finance the move themselves, which will make it that much tougher for the struggling organization.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, as well as Lakers Coach Phil Jackson think the team should stay put.