NBA Expansion Will Not Be Happening In The Short Term

Seattle remains on the outside looking in.

National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver threw some ice-cold water on the possibility of his business adding two more franchises. It’s just not a priority at the moment. There are two reasons for that. The NBA will be undergoing some fiscal changes in the next couple of years as a new media platform-television deal has to be negotiated and then there is the matter of the collective bargaining talks with the players. Those two issues will be taking up an awful lot of Silver and his staff’s time. Once that is done, there seems to be one market ready to take on an expansion franchise, a business that might cost a local owner at least $2.5 billion. That is Seattle which meets all the requirements that Silver’s predecessor, the late David Stern laid out to be a successful business. A Seattle team would have government support, a good-sized local cable TV deal and Seattle has corporate support for a franchise. Finding a second city might be more difficult as there are flaws in the other markets that seek an NBA franchise.

Silver said money is a factor if his league decides to expand by one or two teams. “The most important considerations for us when we look at expansion is, will it ultimately grow the pie? Meaning, it’s potentially 30 more jobs if you expand with two teams. You expand the league’s footprint. How does that help us in varying ways, sort of increased support nationally? So, we’ll continue to look at it. I mean, I’ve said this many times before, we’re certainly not suggesting we’re locked at 30 teams. I think at some point it will make sense to expand, but it’s just not at the top of the agenda right now.” The NBA has pressing business that needs to be completed before expanding.

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(Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)