According an Associated Press reporter, the NBA will take advantage of the preseason to announce the creation of two new franchises. Unsurprisingly, Seattle and Las Vegas are expected to host the 31st and 32nd NBA franchises.
According to our colleague, the NBA should make this announcement in Seattle, probably on October 3 for the opposition between the Clippers and the Blazers at the Climate Pledge Arena. The NBA will also be in Las Vegas a few days later with the Lakers who will face the Suns and then the Wolves there on October 5 and 6.
For ten years, the NBA has been regularly asked about the return of the Sonics to Seattle, and the creation of a team in Las Vegas. Here is what Adam Silver, the big boss of the league, had answered last June at the time of the Finals.
“There are great markets. We were in Seattle and I’m sorry we’re not there anymore. We have a WNBA team in Seattle in a brand new facility, which is performing spectacularly. And Las Vegas, where we will be in July for the Summer League, has shown its potential for a sports franchise. »
An extension planned for 2025?
According to American media, the owners, consulted for the creation and possible franchise moves, are waiting for the end of negotiations with the players’ union and the television networks to welcome new teams. The current contract between the NBA and its broadcasters (ESPN, ABC and TNT) ends in 2025, and it may well be that the two new franchises will be created for the start of the 2025/26 season.
If so, expect a Western franchise to switch conferences since Seattle and Las Vegas are located in the West. Minnesota, Memphis or New Orleans could move to the Eastern Conference.