NBA Not Expanding Anytime Soon

Las Vegas and Seattle have buildings that could support an NBA team.

For now, it appears the expansion train with possible stops in Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League is not leaving the station. Major League Soccer could be adding Las Vegas in the near term. MLB has to solve its Oakland and Tampa Bay stadium problems before it considers expanding. The NFL has no interest in going beyond 32 teams. The NHL just added Seattle and National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver claimed NBA owners are not thinking about adding teams. There are two cities that have the buildings that could support NBA expansion teams, Las Vegas and Seattle. But there is also league business which needs to be settled. A new TV-video deal and a new collective bargaining agreement have to be negotiated. That really does put NBA expansion in a deep freeze.

“There’s no doubt Seattle would be a great market. Las Vegas would be a great market. There’s state-of-the-art arenas in both those communities,” Silver said on the Dan Patrick radio show. “And so, we’ll look at it. It’s not on the front burner for our league right now.” There are two other considerations, less league money for team owners would be available if the league expands as owners would get a 1/32nd share of league money and is there enough quality talent? The loss of league money from television-video and marketing partners could be offset by an expansion fee. The talent issue might be a problem. Silver added, “even with all the very best players in the world coming to this league, a game played by tens of millions of kids around the world, you still don’t have the kind of competitive parity that we would like. And if you expand, you’re diluting talent even more.” NBA expansion is on the back burner.

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