Don’t expect the NBA to add any new teams anytime soon.
Though the global popularity of the league is increasing, commissioner Adam Silver said that the league doesn’t have any plans to expand beyond its current 30-team roster. Silver has previously, and he doesn’t feel that now is the time for the league to make such a move.
“It’s the same as it’s been for other U.S. cities that have expressed interest, and that is that we are just not in expansion mode at the time,” Silver said while talking to media members during the NBA Finals, via Yahoo. “I mean, we’re flattered that some other Canadian cities have expressed interest, as some other U.S. cities have, but again nothing new and I’ve said this before, that we, meaning the NBA collectively, all our team owners, are very focused on creating the best possible competition among the 30 teams. And I’m sure inevitably at some point we’ll turn back to expansion, but it’s not on the agenda at this time.”
Silver said that in order to expand, the NBA as currently constructed would have to consider what it would gain, not just in the short-term, but in the long-term as well.
“From a league standpoint you’re in essence selling equity in your overall league, and you’re selling a portion of the growth opportunity outside of that market,” Silver said. “You’re selling the growth opportunity in Africa, and I think what we would be looking at is whether if we’re expanding, not necessarily the short-term benefit of an expansion fee, but is it additive over the long term?
“Is that franchise adding something to the footprint of the league that the 30 current teams don’t? So that in essence would be the analysis.”
The idea of expansion seems to pop up a couple of times every year, and Silver has consistently shot the idea down, and nothing has changed this time around. Maybe one day the league will add more teams, but for now, 30 remains the magic number.