NBA considering expansion for financial reasons
Adam Silver has repeatedly said in recent years that the NBA is not considering expansion, but the commissioner has changed his stance amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Silver told reporters on Monday that the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has “caused us to maybe dust off some of the analyses on the economic and competitive impacts of expansion.” Whereas he has previously said the NBA was content with its 30 teams, Silver clearly is not ruling it out now. One of the biggest concerns with expansion, he says, would be the competitiveness of the league.
“One of our focuses as the league office is always on how do you create better competition,” he explained, via ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “So that’s one of the things that we continue to think about as we consider expansion. … It’s an economic issue and it’s a competitive issue for us. So it’s one that we’ll continue to study, but we’re spending a little bit more time on it than we were pre-pandemic.”
Seattle is considered the most likely city to start an NBA franchise if the league does choose to expand. That makes sense, as Seattle was the home of the SuperSonics before they moved to Oklahoma City in 2008. The Sacramento Kings nearly moved to Seattle in 2013 before Vivek Ranadive bought the team.
At least one other city has also been mentioned as a possibility for an NBA franchise.
The NBA and other leagues have lost an enormous amount of money due to seasons being shortened and fans not attending games. Mark Cuban recently revealed how much money the Dallas Mavericks stand to lose without fans at their arena. Silver really has no choice at this point but to consider all options.