The NBA hadn’t considered even entertaining the possibility of an expansion franchise over the course of the last decade but the struggles prompted by the coronavirus pandemic appears to have opened the door for such a development.
The league was able to bring a close to the 2019/20 season and begin another one shortly after – an admirable feat – yet financial troubles will continue to loom until fans can fill the arenas again. While the possibility of an expansion has been revived, The Athletic’s David Aldridge reports the NBA won’t begin to give serious consideration until next year.
“I would agree that there is discussion but no decision,” one governor said this week, a sentiment echoed by another.
Another high-ranking team executive said it was unlikely any serious consideration of expansion would happen at least before the end of the 2021-22 season.
Seattle would be the most likely location if an expansion does happen, with many pushing for a Sonics return. The city has already begun construction on an arena for a new NHL team and the building may very well be able to host games for the NBA.
For now, completing the 2020/21 season remains the No.1 priority.