Adam Silver teases three potential NBA expansion cities


Adam Silver teases three potential NBA expansion cities originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

BOSTON — The Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks outlasted 28 other teams to reach the 2024 NBA Finals. That number may increase in the very near future.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver joined NBC Sports Boston’s Celtics Pregame Live on Sunday at TD Garden ahead of Game 2 of the NBA Finals and confirmed the league will look at the possibility of expanding from its 30 current teams after it finalizes new media rights deals.

“We have to understand what our long-term media relationships are before we look to expansion. We’re in the process of wrapping up those deals now,” Silver told co-hosts Tom Giles, Eddie House and Brian Scalabrine. “They’re going to be long-term deals. I’m hoping, we’re not done yet, but they’ll be successful in terms of generating more money for the league and the teams and then we’ll be in a position to look at expansion.

The NBA’s current media rights deal expires after the 2024-25 season, and Silver said Thursday the league hopes to finalize new long-term agreements in the “relative near term.” According to the Wall Street Journal, the NBA is “closing in” on deals with NBC, ESPN and Amazon totaling about $76 billion over the next 11 years.

While Silver insisted the league adding teams isn’t a given, it would be a natural next step considering the influx of money from the potential media rights deals and the fact that two other pro sports leagues — the NFL and NHL — already have 32 teams.

“It’s not preordained that we’ll expand,” Silver said. “I’ve said it before, you’ve got to look at the dilution, potentially, of talent, but there’s so much great basketball being played around the world. I don’t think there’s any doubt that over time, this league can sustain two more teams. And there’s interest in the market, so once we finish our media deals, we’ll turn our attention to that.”

So, which cities would be in the running to add an expansion team?

“There’s been some discussion about going back to Seattle, potentially,” Silver confirmed. “Las Vegas, no doubt, is very interested in a team. Mexico City one day.

“But there’s lots of other U.S. cities and Canadian cities, frankly, that have reached out to us to tell us they’d be interested.”

Seattle and Las Vegas long have been rumored to be the league’s next two expansion cities, while Silver has suggested on multiple occasions the NBA is looking to add another international team outside the Toronto Raptors. The league has played multiple regular-season games in Mexico City in recent seasons, so perhaps that would be the NBA’s next frontier after welcoming Seattle and Las Vegas.

Check out Silver’s full interview in the YouTube video below.



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