NBA: A Step Closer To Expanding?


The owners and players have a new collective bargaining agreement.

It appears that a hurdle to a possible expansion of the National Basketball Association to 32 franchises has been removed. The NBA governors and players have a new collective bargaining agreement in place so there will not be any labor stress until the end of the 2020s decade. But there are still some potholes that need to be filled before the NBA is in a position to add teams. A new American television contract needs to be in place and with the landscape of the sports TV money field evolving, it will take a while to get the new deal done. This much is known, NBA-cable TV partner, The Walt Disney Company, which owns ESPN, is tightening its belt and is laying off workers across the board. The NBA’s other cable TV partner, Warner Bros. Discovery’s Turner Sports, is looking to save money wherever possible and that company has indicated that it does not necessarily need the NBA. Comcast-NBC might go after the league. There is one other piece of the TV puzzle that needs to be filled. Sinclair’s Bally Sports regional cable TV sports networks have filed for bankruptcy and at this point, it is not known how that will impact the various NBA teams that have deals with the Sinclair property.

There is another potential hazard for those wanting to buy an NBA expansion franchise. There is the possibility that franchise owners in Memphis, Minneapolis and New Orleans could seek to transfer their teams to other markets if they cannot work out local arena deals. The NBA might want to set up shop in Las Vegas and Seattle or look at Mexico City. There are some people in Montréal and Louisville who in the past expressed interest in bringing the NBA to town. NBA expansion is not a priority right now.

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Paolo Banchero, right, is congratulated by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number one pick overall by the Orlando Magic in the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 23, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)