The Sacramento Kings are seriously considering the possibility of applying to the NBA by the league's March 1 deadline for relocation to Anaheim for next season, according to sources with knowledge of the team's thinking.
The Kings haven't made a final decision, but sources said team officials have been in Orange County, Calif., this month to gather more first-hand data on the feasibility and potential obstacles involved in trying to move to Anaheim's Honda Center at season's end after a 26-season run in Sacramento and numerous failed attempts to secure the financing needed for the construction of a new modern arena.
The Kings have been trying for nearly a decade to replace outdated Arco Arena (soon to be renamed Power Balance Pavilion) with a new revenue-generating building that would ensure they stay in a market that was once known as the home of one of the NBA's most fervent fan bases. That was before Sacramento's slide down the Western Conference standings.
Among the issues that could dissuade the Kings from making the relocation request before next season's deadline in 10 days are the millions still owed by the Maloofs to the city of Sacramento in loans and the behind-the-scenes resistance they could potentially receive from the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers.
The Kings would likely need favorable loan and lease terms in Anaheim to mitigate those financial obligations and the franchise might still face opposition from the Lakers and Clippers. Although those teams would only have one vote each -- and despite the fact franchise relocations in the NBA only require a 15-14 majority vote for approval from the league's other 29 teams -- it's certainly conceivable the Staples Center co-tenants would band together to try to rally support from other teams to oppose to a third NBA franchise moving into a building that sits roughly 30 miles away.