Amid all of the rumors related to Carmelo Anthony's expected move and the ever-approaching trade deadline, I can't help but think about a different deadline.
Around the same time, paperwork declaring an NBA team's intent to move are due, something that people in Sacramento will be watching for.
A report released on ESPN claims that Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli had reached out to the Maloof family in an effort to help relocate the Kings from Sacramento to Anaheim.
The speculated $100 million loan would aid the Maloofs with their debts along with leases and agreements they would need to pay in order to move the Kings who have been in Sacramento since 1985. Both parties did not issue a statement related to the reports.
However you want to cut it, things in Sacramento with the Kings do not look good.
Despite the team's improved play in the last nine games, going 4-6 since DeMarcus Cousins' more consistent play, a 9-29 record isn't exactly glowing. A struggling team coupled with waning fan support is an equation that may lead to relocation as the solution.
The fans of the now defunct Seattle Supersonics are left with a vacancy due to similar circumstances.
A less than desirable product on the court and an average attendance, which finished in the bottom half of the league for 20 years both factored into the team's eventual demise.
A large issue with the relocation of the Sonics was due to an aging arena and a city unwilling to help break ground on a new one. New ownership came in with the intent to move, which was met with little resistance by the NBA or Seattle.
A team that had been in the area for 41 years now ceases to exist. A very bitter taste was left in the mouths of many, as they watched a budding player in Kevin Durant turn into a superstar in a Thunder jersey, as opposed to the Sonics uniform he dawned his rookie season.
Outside of the Kings relocating, a real possibility would be for the team to fold before it could move. This is an avenue David Stern has discussed going down, putting small-market teams like the Pacers and Hornets at risk for contraction, leaving Indianapolis and New Orleans team-less as well.
Not to mention Sacramento.
These talks could gain steam with the impending collective bargaining agreement, which has yet to be struck between the players and owners.
A work stoppage could critically cripple the league, which would lead to contraction as a more reasonable option. Especially considering the estimated $500 million the NBA has lost this past season.
The tactless LeBron James supports contraction, which he made clear in a Larry King Live interview late last year.
Perhaps James hopes the Cleveland Cavaliers will fall victim to this as well, simultaneously unleashing his arsenal of scathing Twitter updates.
And although four new proposals have been submitted in an effort build a new arena, mayor Kevin Johnson's efforts to get a new arena built look to be in vain.
When construction was a booming industry during the same period as the Kings' relevance, a new arena could not be built. Even ideal timing didn't make a difference.
California can't even pass a budget on time, how much promise does that leave for the city to find a middle ground on building an arena that would cost a half billion dollars?
Especially with the states and cities putrid economy, an arena is most likely nothing more than a pipe dream. Even with the right proposal for an arena, it would be nothing short of a miracle to see it actually happen.
Maybe, just maybe, one day the Kings will get a new arena. My feeling is that arena will most likely be in another city though.
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