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Is NBA Expansion a Good Idea?

What would happen if the league added two more teams?

Board of Governors Press Conference Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

Among all the hot NBA topics of the moment, expansion to 32 teams is a constant refrain. If the league added a pair of teams to the current set, how would you feel? That’s the subject of today’s Blazer’s Edge Mailbag.


Do you favor NBA expansion? I keep hearing Seattle and Las Vegas. I like the locations but the NBA already seems talent diluted as it is. And what happens to the conferences then? Where do you hope the NBA expands or do you even?


I’m generally in favor, especially for Seattle. Things were more fun with another team in the Pacific Northwest. The Sonics logo and colors are iconic. With all due respect, Oklahoma City just isn’t the same. I think the Thunder should stay, of course, but I’d like the Sonics back.

Las Vegas would be fine. I’m more neutral on that second team though. The league should expand wherever they have the best chance to field a viable franchise. Vegas is a little clinical and tourist-ish, but if the dollars line up, fine. If not, just make sure that extra franchise makes it.

I’m also heavily in favor of realignment. Putting two teams in the Western Conference wouldn’t be bad. The league could move two of the current (cough, cough Atlantic Time Zone???) “Western” conference teams to the East where they belong. I’m not objecting to Minneapolis and OKC hanging out with the Left Coasters, but when you start getting into Louisiana and Tennessee, you probably need to look at some longitude lines.

I hear you on the talent dilution issue. That horse is not only out of the barn, it’s down the road having a Guinness in the pub. Two more franchises won’t thin the pool that much. You’re still likely to have a couple of superteams with concentrated veteran stars and a huge budget, then everybody else making do on homegrown talent and some free agents. 28 teams wouldn’t become exponentially better if you removed two franchises right now. 30 teams won’t become worse if you add two. This is the modern, offense-heavy NBA. Somebody on those new teams is going to score 20 by default. Voila, there’s your new star.

If you really want to concentrate talent, go down to 24 teams. (That would be an interesting thought exercise. If you eliminated six current NBA teams, who would come available and how would that affect league balance?) Short of that, I wouldn’t sweat the return of the Sonics and the advent of the Vegas Slot Jockeys.

What about all of you? Would you favor expansion? If so, where and how would you optimize the change to benefit the league? Share in the comment section below.

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