If expansion is in the NBA’s future, it probably won’t happen until after the next television contract is negotiated, Marc Stein writes in a story for Substack.
NBA owners aren’t in a hurry to add two new teams before working out the new deal, which could double the current revenue that they get from TV. That contract is valued at $24 billion over nine years and will expire following the 2024/25 season. The next television deal is expected to significantly raise the value of each franchise and will eventually increase the expansion fees that the new teams will have to pay.
The owners would also like to finalize a new collective bargaining agreement with the union before they consider expansion, Stein adds. Negotiations with the NBPA have already started, and either side can opt out of the current CBA in December.
During his annual NBA Finals press conference, commissioner Adam Silver dismissed the idea that Seattle and Las Vegas are being targeted for expansion teams in 2024. However, Stein states that those two cities should be considered heavy favorites when expansion does happen, noting that Silver was very complimentary to both of them at his media session.
“Those are wonderful markets,” Silver said. “We were in Seattle. I’m sorry we are no longer there. We have a WNBA team in Seattle in an almost brand-new building that’s doing spectacular. And Las Vegas, where we will be at our summer league in July, has shown itself to be a great sports market as well.”