After this season, The NBA Office is focused on expanding the teams to two major cities to get wider fanbases and make the league entertaining. Furthermore, Adam Silver outlined the plan to make this expansion happen. The NBA has other new ideas in place, such as the In-Season Tournament and stricter rules around flopping, but expansion is an innovative idea from Silver to move the league forward.
NBA Looking at Expansion
How the Plan Works
Unfortunately, the expansion is a few years away. Nevertheless, the Commissioner does have a set plan in place for how the league wants to expand. Silver talked to the media during the 2023 NBA Summer League and explained how he will look into expansion once “the new media deals are done.” The Commissioner wants the NBA to grow, but needs to commit once it makes sense. Silver said, “It’s not a sure thing but, as I’ve said before, I think it’s natural that organizations grow over time”. Growth is essential for the league as the league lives off player mobility.
Therefore, expanding into more cities creates more destinations for players striving for success. Furthermore, the expansion opens doors for new fans to enjoy basketball, and players to shine in a new city. Silver and his team never welcomed the plan until now. Silver said in 2022 that the talk of expansion was, “not true.” Nevertheless, he decided that a year later, the league is closer to expanding teams; the idea is alive.
Already, there is a plan to expand into two cities: Las Vegas and Seattle. There is interest in both cities, as the NFL, NHL, and WNBA all have teams located there. Moreover, the NBA Summer League runs for two weeks in July, so Silver thinks of the possible “31st franchise” centered in Las Vegas. Moreover, the league wants Seattle as a possible destination as well. Seattle used to host the Seattle Supersonics until they moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. Therefore, the league looks to rekindle the past with a move to Seattle.
Both fanbases would love an NBA team, as Seattle had excitement in the mid-1990s with the Sonics. Additionally, Las Vegas loves entertainment in the city because Vegas is all about money from fun events. Basketball, especially the NBA, is another piece of fun both cities would benefit from.
The NBA Office created an expansion plan that looks promising for the future of the NBA game. More fanbases, teams and media companies streaming the games is an avenue that makes the game better. While it may take some time, the league seems set in stone to make it happen. With the NBA growing with more international influence and games played in other cities, the idea of teams in two major cities wouldn’t be farfetched. The expansion is something to keep a close eye on.