ESPN thinks so.

The league would buy the New Orleans Hornets from Shinn, now that his proposed sale of the franchise to a minority partner has collapsed. The league would run the team with an eye to finding new local ownership. At first.

But if that does not happen — then what? Move the team to Vegas? London? Contract the team, something NBA commish David Stern swore up and down would never, ever happen. Not unlike a team going into effective receivership.

The other owners can’t be happy, but the league is doing what it can to prop up the values of their franchises. After all — if no one wants to buy and own something, just how much can it be worth?