After NBA commissioner Adam Silver talked more seriously about expansion, league officials made a concerted effort to downplay the inevitability of expansion.
But nobody believes them.
It’s widely believed the NBA will expand for the first time since rounding out to 30 teams in 2004 partly to recoup losses from the pandemic. Returning to Seattle as part of the process is almost a given (with Las Vegas as the other likely city) now that the arena issues that led to the Supersonics leaving for Oklahoma City in 2008 have been resolved.
The concept of expansion is fairly simple: Current owners agree to divide future revenue among more teams in exchange for an immediate injection of cash. That becomes more appealing in the aftermath of coronavirus-caused shortfalls.
Seattle is a logical location for an expansion team. A second city is more wide open, though Las Vegas is the most common guess.
Expansion isn’t certain. But, at this point, more people are discussing when than if.