Most talk around expansion or team movement revolves around one city: Seattle. Obviously, the league hurts from not having the Sonics among its ranks, and the move of the team during the last decade was one of the messier business storylines of that era.
As a resident of Seattle, it always strikes me how odd it is a metro area of this size — one that’s still focused on basketball — doesn’t have an NBA team. It just feels weird, even considering the context of Howard Schultz, Clay Bennett, and Key Arena. “Soon but not that soon” is the general feeling about getting an NBA team here in Washington.
Then again, some other cities may be in the mix, too.
According to a rumor from SEC Network’s Jarrett Sutton, at least one NBA executive thinks that Kansas City is another potential spot for expansion.
Kansas City does have the advantage of already being a sports town, a top 33 TV market, and it has an NBA-sized arena in the Sprint Center. KC is also the host city for the Big 12 tournament.
Still, the city hasn’t had an NBA team since the Kings left in 1985, and Adam Silver has said that expansion isn’t really on the docket for the league in the near future.
The question is also whether the NBA needs more teams or fewer. Some folks have started to take the stance that they would actually prefer contraction away from markets that never seem to compete. I’m not sure if that’s realistic, but re-arrangement by teams moving also seems less likely in this day and age, too, especially after the last-ditch effort to keep the Kings in Sacramento in 2013.
When will Seattle get an NBA team? Will Kansas City get a team? Will it be in tandem? This is fun speculation at this point, but we won’t get our answer for some time.