The NBA will eventually expand.
The National Basketball Association will again kick the tires in Seattle with a pre-season game on October 10th between the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz. The NBA is either pumping up or insulting the Seattle audience by calling this pre-season contest that will feature a number of guys who will eventually play in the NBA’s farm system G League later this year, the “Rain City Showcase” although it is not very clear what the showcase is offering other than a pre-season game in an expansion candidate city. The NBA is also having another showcase pre-season game in Las Vegas. It is thought that once the NBA gets its American TV package in place, then the league could add two teams with Las Vegas and Seattle the leading two markets to land expansion franchises, maybe around 2026 or 2027.
The NBA pre-season is where a local promoter can land a game and two Canadian cities that are probably not in the running for expansion teams will host games. Montréal and Vancouver. There is also a game scheduled in Birmingham, Alabama, a city that has no chance at ever landing an NBA team. There are also games in Tulsa, Palm Desert and Honolulu. The league is not doing all that much barnstorming. Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks franchise will play games in Abu Dhabi against the Minnesota Timberwolves and in Madrid, Spain. Seattle now has an NBA state-of-the-art arena, something the NBA claimed the city did not have when it allowed Clayton Bennett to take his Seattle SuperSonics’ business to Oklahoma City in 2008. Ironically, Oklahoma City’s arena is no longer considered a state-of-the-art building and there is a city government led movement to get a new venue built in the city because Oklahoma City wants to remain a major league town. The countdown to NBA expansion has begun.
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