Two cities on pole for the two new NBA franchises
Published on June 10, 2023 at 4:12 p.m.
Since 2004 the NBA has 30 franchises in its League. Next season could be the last in this format as Adam Silver mentioned the possibility of an expansion of two new teams. One in Seattle for the veterans and another in Las Vegas which is currently on the rise in US sport.
The NBA could expand and have two additional franchises. That’s what hinted Adam Silver, by mentioning the projects under consideration within the body. If he specifies that nothing is acted for the moment, the boss of the NBA estimates that an expansion of the league « makes sense in the long run « . What is certain for now is that the latter will not intervene before contract negotiations with the league’s broadcasters, which are due to take place next spring.
The two new home grounds of the NBA
It’s been nearly 20 years since the NBA last welcomed a new team, the latest being the charlotte bobcats in 2004, which have since become Hornets. To the 30 franchises already present in the Great League could be added that of Seattle and that of Las Vegas. The first named has already had an NBA team with the SuperSonics from 1967 to 2008. The franchise had been champion in 1979 (and runner-up in 1978 and 1996), before being relocated to Oklahoma City. For its part, Las Vegas has never known the NBA. However, the Nevada city has had some great successes lately in US sports with a defending champion team in the WNBA, another currently in the finals in the NHL, another in the NFL and potentially one last in MLB (based in Oakland for the ‘hour).
An NBA at 32. Is it really possible?
If this expansion takes place, it brings several questions to the table. First, how to rebalance the Western and Eastern conferences with two new West Coast franchises. One solution would be to send the Grizzlies to the East because Tennessee is very close to the East Coast in reality. The state is even further east than Illinois for example where headquarters Chicago. Then, how to supply these two teams with players? Preferred picks in the 2024 draft? Gift of each franchise? Finally, what impact will this have on the calendar, knowing that an 82-game season is already very long. If you have to add four or five games to play against Seattle and Las Vegas, the bodies will be even more strained. Many questions that should find their answers by spring 2024.
You should also know that LeBron James has often said that he would like to own a franchise in Nevada. And we know that Las Vegas is a major economic crossroads, whether with its famous casinos or in the sports world with the UFC, which often goes there for major matches.