There has been plenty of speculation about the possibility of NBA expansion since commissioner Adam Silver opened the door to the possibility during a preseason press conference.
However, Silver said at the time that the issue isn’t on the “front burner” for the league, and stressed again this week in a Sportico event that he doesn’t believe the time is right to focus on expansion, with the NBA still trying to navigate the coronavirus pandemic.
Interestingly, in an apparent reference to a recent report which suggested that league officials have floated a potential $2.5 billion expansion fee, Silver told Sportico that he thought “some of the reported numbers are very low in terms of the value at which we would expand.” While we want to be careful not to read too much into Silver’s comments, especially since expansion is likely still a ways off, the implication there is that the NBA would seek an expansion fee that exceeds $2.5 billion.
Here’s more from around the basketball world:
- The Stepien Rule, which prevents NBA teams from leaving themselves without any first-round picks in two consecutive future drafts, and the Seven-Year Rule, which prohibits teams from trading picks more than seven years in the future, are significantly limiting the ability of certain clubs to trade draft picks right now. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (Insider link) examines what that means, speculating that it might make it more challenging for some clubs to bid on the next star player who becomes available via trade.
- After recently tightening its health and safety protocols related to the coronavirus, the NBA will increase its efforts to enforce the rules prohibiting pregame and postgame hugs and handshakes between players, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who says the league will have team security at the midcourt area to discourage those interactions.
- As our JD Shaw relays (via Twitter), the NBA has changed the tip-off times for a number of upcoming games on the scheduled from January 23-31.