The last time the NBA went through an expansion was in 2004 when a new team named the Charlotte Bobcats was announced to be entering the league. Quite some time has passed since then, but it seems we have another expansion on the horizon, with two potential new cities getting an NBA franchise.
In an article by Michael Grange from Sportsnet.ca, it was revealed that there is a strong belief the NBA will expand pretty soon. The pandemic has hit the NBA hard financially, and this will be a way of recouping the losses they had in the last year and generating some new revenue. We’ve already reported on speculation that the expansion fee could be in the neighborhood of 2.5 billion per team. The top destinations in the rumors and most suitable cities are Seattle and Las Vegas.
Many players and personalities around the league have advocated Seattle to be brought back into the NBA and the SuperSonics franchise to rise again. Their move to Oklahoma City in 2008 didn’t sit well with many NBA fans, and this could be when we get this historic team back into the NBA. And to think of the rivalry the Sonics would have with the Thunder. The first game between those two in Seattle would be mesmerizing. The sole reason they lost the team back then was arena issues, but Seattle is a lock for expansion as that problem has been resolved.
The other city will be more of a question, but Las Vegas has emerged as a favorite. Many people seem to think it would be an excellent destination for drawing talent due to the luxurious lifestyle the city brings. It may not be a big market, but with all the attractions and Los Angeles nearby, it could be a wanted destination for young and star players, like Miami or New York.
If that case, both expansion teams would join the Western Conference, meaning the NBA would have to move one team over to the Eastern Conference. When you look at it geographically, the teams that would make sense are Minnesota, Memphis, and New Orleans; and all teams would most likely welcome switching to the easier conference. It would be a fresh shake-up for the league and bring in many new fans, as some new teams and cities sound like an exciting idea. Hopefully, the NBA makes a move sooner than later.