FanPost

Can the NBA afford to expand?

Prior to the previous lockout, there was a ton of talk about contraction. Yet, with the financial success of the new CBA, I wonder if expansion could instead be in order within the next few years.

Once Sacramento relocates elsewhere -- with my money still being on Anaheim, because the Maloof clan is seemingly determined not to sell and instead move somewhere that's financially viable for them with a ready-made arena in place -- I think the next step after that is for the league to expand from 30 to 32 teams.

Presuming the Maloofs pack their bags and head off to Anaheim, I'd argue that Seattle -- for which I possess a favorable bias, since I'm a native Washingtonian -- and Kansas City are the optimal options, as they're both former NBA cities. Kansas City has a recently erected arena (i.e., Sprint Center) in need of a tenant, while Seattle has an enthusiastic potential owner, Chris Hansen, who's behind proposing a new state-of-the-art arena.

Kansas City and Seattle would reclaim their old franchise nicknames of the Kings and SuperSonics, respectively, while Anaheim would go with its old organizational name of the Royals, which dates back to the Rochester and Cincinnati eras.

32 teams could work, too, with 8 divisions of 4, à la the NFL. Here's an example of how that would look in theory.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Atlantic Division
Boston Celtics
Brooklyn Nets
New York Knicks
Philadelphia 76ers

Central Division
Chicago Bulls
Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons
Indiana Pacers

Coastal Division
Charlotte Bobcats
Memphis Grizzlies
Toronto Raptors
Washington Wizards

Southeast Division
Atlanta Hawks
Miami Heat
New Orleans Pelicans
Orlando Magic

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Midwest Division
Kansas City Kings
Minnesota Timberwolves
Milwaukee Bucks
Oklahoma City Thunder

Northwest Division
Denver Nuggets
Portland Trail Blazers
Seattle SuperSonics
Utah Jazz

Pacific Division
Anaheim Royals
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers

Southwest Division
Dallas Mavericks
Houston Rockets
Phoenix Suns
San Antonio Spurs

Teams would play their designated rival (e.g., Nets & Knicks, Heat & Magic, Lakers & Clippers, et cetera) 6 times, each of their remaining 2 divisional opponents 4 times (i.e., 8 games), each of their remaining 12 conference opponents 3 times (i.e., 36 games), and each of their 16 non-conference opponents 2 times (i.e., 32 games), which amounts to 82 games -- as 6 + 8 + 36 + 32 = 82 -- in total.

Division winners would receive automatic playoff spots, too, although seeding would be determined solely by win-loss record; thus, a division winner may also hypothetically be an 8th seed.

So, all things considered, do y'all think the NBA could sustain adding an additional two teams? If so, then cool. But if not, I'm curious as to why you'd vote against it -- whether that be a further diluted talent pool, monetary reasons, et cetera -- as I'll be the first to admit that it may not be a perfect plan.

Either way, though, feedback would be greatly appreciated!

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