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NBA Expansion Looming: Seattle and Las Vegas or Vancouver

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3 hours ago, gosioux76 said:

I get that. But what’s the point of having a stronger bottom half of the league if they still don’t stand even a remote chance of winning it all? 
 

A successful season for most NBA franchises would be getting into the second round of the playoffs. Like, that’s the pinnacle — the most that can be hoped for. I can’t imagine why, as a fan, that’s appealing.

That’s just the nature of the sport, where one guy can dramatically tip the scales in a way that isn’t possible in really any other team sport. Only the 2004 Pistons and arguably the 2014 Spurs and Bad Boy Pistons didn’t have a top 5 player and won a championship since like, pre- Magic and Bird entering the league (and even before, having a top 3 center was a prerequisite to win). That doesn’t change whether there are 12 teams or 32. 
 

It’s pretty ridiculous to say there isn’t enough talent in the league to expand, there clearly is. There were 30 international players in the league in the late 90’s and none were more than good rotation pieces, now there’s 100+ and at least 3 of them are top 10 players. When the NBA last expanded every team had a slow white guy whose only skills was being tall and being able to foul Shaq 6 times without dying. Now everyone barring a few exceptions needs to be able to space the floor. Pretty much every winner in the past decade of the Most Improved award was a player being given the chance to lead his own team and thriving. Isaac Austin won it as a backup center and only averaged double digit points once in his career. At the start of the season I would have said only the Knicks and pending health the Pistons rosters didn’t have someone who could be in contention to make an All Star team in the next couple of years and even that might not be true.

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I don't understand the mentality of not wanting a sports team in your city because the way the league is set up they have an uphill battle to being good. Thats true of anywhere you could expand to at this point. Might as well have it in your home then so you can actually go to a game.

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While the league may be imbalanced, thats a product of the game, not the league. Basketball teams can have success solely on individuals, its about stars, where I'd argue the NFL, NHL, and MLB require depth. Thats not my point though.

 

The NBA is doing great financially. The league is booming, which we see in the exponential rise in the salary cap. There are some teams that are duds, small market and bad. Sacramento for example. But the league is making so much that it doesn't need them to have sellouts. Adding 2 teams expands the market even more, and when they don't have to build an entire new stadium for it, its a great move. Id put money on Seattle and Vegas (especially with sports betting taking center stage, Vegas is the most likely).

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10 hours ago, UnclearInitial said:

That’s just the nature of the sport, where one guy can dramatically tip the scales in a way that isn’t possible in really any other team sport. Only the 2004 Pistons and arguably the 2014 Spurs and Bad Boy Pistons didn’t have a top 5 player and won a championship since like, pre- Magic and Bird entering the league (and even before, having a top 3 center was a prerequisite to win). That doesn’t change whether there are 12 teams or 32. 
 

It’s pretty ridiculous to say there isn’t enough talent in the league to expand, there clearly is. There were 30 international players in the league in the late 90’s and none were more than good rotation pieces, now there’s 100+ and at least 3 of them are top 10 players. When the NBA last expanded every team had a slow white guy whose only skills was being tall and being able to foul Shaq 6 times without dying. Now everyone barring a few exceptions needs to be able to space the floor. Pretty much every winner in the past decade of the Most Improved award was a player being given the chance to lead his own team and thriving. Isaac Austin won it as a backup center and only averaged double digit points once in his career. At the start of the season I would have said only the Knicks and pending health the Pistons rosters didn’t have someone who could be in contention to make an All Star team in the next couple of years and even that might not be true.

 

First off, I'm not arguing that there isn't enough talent in the league. I'm just saying that having more talent in the league doesn't necessarily make the league any more competitive.  I think it's great that every team has someone who could be an all star. But only a very small number of those superstars are of a caliber to win a championship, and there are even fewer -- if any -- that could do it without multiple superstar-caliber players at their side. 

 

I'm well aware of the league's star-driven structure. I'll even concede that it's always been that way: the Lakers, Celtics and Bulls of yesteryear all dominated the league with a collection of superstars. The difference is how teams are built and who's actually the driving force in building them. In the modern NBA, Lebron, and his ability to coalesce talent in locations of his choosing, is a bigger determinant of NBA championships today than any GM or the NBA draft can ever be. The Warriors felt like an exception to the rule, up until Kevin Durant chose the path of least resistance to an NBA title and left OKC on the league's dust heap. 

 

The ability of a team in an undesirable location to rebuild itself through the draft has become fantasy. And if you're a fan of one of those teams, it has to be demoralizing. The Cavaliers would have never won an NBA championship had Lebron not had some personal affinity for the location. Maybe it's just me, and everyone else is fine with the sort of power structure that leaves most of the league looking like the Washington Generals to the Harlem Globetrotters.

 

I just think that adding two more teams to that sort of environment would build upon the league's already growing collection of have-nots. But if they're hell bent on expansion, then considering markets like KC or Louisville or Vancouver would make far less sense than Las Vegas. 

 

Superstars will want to play in Las Vegas. 

 

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1. Seattle.

 

2. Las Vegas. Before the Knights or Raiders or T-Mobile Center, I always thought that the NBA would be the first league to move into Vegas. 

 

3. Vancouver. I think the league pulled out just a couple of years too early. Huge corporate presence, tons of $$$, diverse population.

 

4. Norfolk/Hampton/Virginia Beach. It's always tossed out there as a backburner option for relocation. Metro population of close to 2 mill.  The NBA typically has had success being the only show in town. (ie. Utah, San Antonio, Portland, etc.). Obviously an arena is needed.

 

5. Kansas City. No indoor winter sports. Newish state of the art arena. Passionate fans. I think it could work.

 

 

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Any reason Pittsburgh is never considered in the NBA expansion talks? Big city, plenty of fans and sports history, lots of college kids who would latch on as well.

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On 1/9/2021 at 10:56 PM, GDAWG said:

If the NBA goes to Las Vegas, the city will have gone from 0 major league teams to 3 in under a decade.  I don't recall any city getting three major league teams in less than a decade.  I know in DFW, it took 20 years for the area to get three major league teams: Cowboys in 1960, Rangers in 1972 and Mavericks in 1980.

Between 88-98 Phoenix got the Cardinals, Coyotes and Dbacks. 

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On 1/10/2021 at 12:37 AM, LMU said:

Funny you should say that...

 

 

As much as I would like to see San Diego get the NBA and NFL back, the municipal and county governments in San Diego can't get out of their own way.  They always find a way to screw up projects like this. 

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13 hours ago, UnclearInitial said:

When the NBA last expanded every team had a slow white guy whose only skills was being tall and being able to foul Shaq 6 times without dying.

Yes, much like the high-density, knowledge-economy cities where the league thrives the most, the NBA has also made astounding improvements in the quality of their white guys

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3 hours ago, gosioux76 said:

Superstars will want to play in Las Vegas.

 

Yup, James Harden can''t wait for LV team and being part of it.

 

IMO Seattle with SuperSonics is no bainer (although all rights to Sonics are in Thunder hands but I guess it shouldn't be a big problem).

For second team, it would be nice to have Louisville in game and they could bring back Kentucky Colonels.

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14 minutes ago, pepis21 said:

IMO Seattle with SuperSonics is no bainer (although all rights to Sonics are in Thunder hands but I guess it shouldn't be a big problem).

IIRC, the agreement from the city's lawsuit is that all stuff related to the Sonics (name, colors, etc.) reverts back to any new Seattle team, and the history is shared between OKC and any new Seattle team. Essentially, a Browns-type situation.

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4 hours ago, ScubaSteve said:

Any reason Pittsburgh is never considered in the NBA expansion talks? Big city, plenty of fans and sports history, lots of college kids who would latch on as well.

Smaller city with a shrinking population that already has two major league teams and the Pirates.  

 

Everybody throwing out cities like Louisville and Kansas City is kidding theirselves. Seattle is clearly choice one, followed by Vegas with Vancouver as a distant third. That is it. If, and this is a big IF, San Diego had an arena they would jump to second or third in line. 

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On 1/10/2021 at 1:42 PM, SFGiants58 said:

That and adding a team in MLB is such a colossal headache in terms of logistics and investment.

 

On the plus side, 8 cities would get their MiLB teams back, plus more if an MiLB city is one of the expansion teams (Basically anywhere in the US except Portland).

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1 hour ago, ZapRowsdower8 said:

Smaller city with a shrinking population that already has two major league teams and the Pirates.  

 

Everybody throwing out cities like Louisville and Kansas City is kidding theirselves. Seattle is clearly choice one, followed by Vegas with Vancouver as a distant third. That is it. If, and this is a big IF, San Diego had an arena they would jump to second or third in line. 

 

Pittsburgh is the Buffalo of expansion possibilities. They're lucky they got in when they did.

 

The players are pushing hard for Seattle return. Not sure if that means anything, but if they could get the concessions they got in the bubble (which had far-reaching effects), I think Seattle is a shoe-in. I also wonder how the New Sonics will like being the #2 tenant behind the Kraken. It doesn't matter too much given Seattle's nowhere close to having issues that've plagued the Clippers being behind Lakers and Kings in scheduling, but still. The city wants NBA #1 and NHL a far #2.

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Leiweke runs the arena, so if he gets the expansion Sonics, it's not hard to believe they'd have the edge over the Kraken for arena dates. And they'd certainly be perceived as the top tenant either way -- I think the L.A. Kings technically have scheduling priority over the Lakers, but no one sees the Lakers as secondary.

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Obviously, a resurrected Seattle SuperSonics will be Team #31 in NBA's expansion plans. As for the 32nd team, it's a toss-up between Las Vegas, Vancouver, Kansas City, Louisville, and some dark horse cities like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and St. Louis.

 

Additionally, I'd like to see the T-Wolves move to the Eastern Conference's Central Division since they're geographically closer to the teams in that division than they are to the other teams in the Western Conference's Northwest Division.

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55 minutes ago, JH42XCC said:

Obviously, a resurrected Seattle SuperSonics will be Team #31 in NBA's expansion plans. As for the 32nd team, it's a toss-up between Las Vegas, Vancouver, Kansas City, Louisville, and some dark horse cities like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and St. Louis.

 

Additionally, I'd like to see the T-Wolves move to the Eastern Conference's Central Division since they're geographically closer to the teams in that division than they are to the other teams in the Western Conference's Northwest Division.

I don't particularly care for expansion, but if it was Seattle + another out West and the Wolves could move to the East, I'd be all for it.

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3 hours ago, Ridleylash said:

IIRC, the agreement from the city's lawsuit is that all stuff related to the Sonics (name, colors, etc.) reverts back to any new Seattle team, and the history is shared between OKC and any new Seattle team. Essentially, a Browns-type situation.

 

IIRC it was only for 5 years after relocation, after that all rights belong to OKC so Seattle would need to fight for it.

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8 minutes ago, pepis21 said:

 

IIRC it was only for 5 years after relocation, after that all rights belong to OKC so Seattle would need to fight for it.

Nope, the rights to the Sonics history stay in Seattle forever. The OKC ownership group owed the city an extra $30 million (on top of the $45 million up front) for breaking the lease since Seattle didn't get an NBA team within 5 years.

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