Less than a year after Seattle failed in its bid to bring the Sacramento Kings’ franchise to the Pacific Northwest, new NBA commissioner Adam Silver indicated this week that the league has no immediate plans to expand there.
“Seattle is a wonderful market. It would be very additive to the league to have a team there,” Silver told ESPN. “But we’re not planning on expanding right now, so it’s not a function of price.”
Diluting the NBA talent pool appears to be one of the concerns for Silver regarding expansion from the current 30 teams.
“I, and the owners, will look at not only dilution of economic opportunities with one more partner to divide national and international money but also dilution of talent,” Silver said. “Right now, are already making comments about the (Eastern Conference), so is the ideal time to be adding another 15 or 30 players to the league?
“Ultimately, I’m responsible for the financial and competitive health of a 30-team league and while we made tremendous strides in the last collective bargaining agreement, we’re still not there yet. We don’t have 30 profitable teams in the NBA and while we’ve made progress, there are still teams that aren’t competitive enough.”
That does not mean Seattle will never land another team. The city lost the Sonics’ franchise to Oklahoma City after the 2008 season.
“(The Kings decision) should not have been received as a no to Seattle,” Silver said. “There’s no doubt if we were prepared to expand to Seattle right now, we’d get an enormous price for the franchise.”
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