Rumors have swirled that the NBA is expected to add two new teams to the league in 2024. Once the media rights are up, the league will propose a $2.5 billion expansion fee, giving a new team the chance to build a strong foundation.
Obviously, one of those teams should be in Seattle. Emerald City residents have clamored for a team after the Supersonics were taken by Clay Bennett and moved to Oklahoma City. Hell, trade the Mariners for the Sonics and contract the M's. Seattle having basketball back should be a given. Now, the next location is a little tricky. Who gets the second team? Louisville and their delicious chicken? Pittsburgh and its black-and-yellow grit and determination? Vancouver and its mountains and pine trees? St. Louis and... Nelly?
Actually, it should be Las Vegas and its growing entertainment empire. Vegas has a myriad of arenas to choose from, ranging from T-Mobile Arena to the Aces' current home, Michelob Ultra Arena. You could even say that the Thomas and Mack Center would make a good home. The choices are endless. You also have a wide array of corporate sponsors to choose from. Bet MGM, Allegiant, and UMC would all make solid sponsors of the new Vegas team. Given that Sin City is also passionate about hockey and football, playing basketball in Nevada is a no-brainer. Oh, did I mention that UNLV basketball was a monster in college sports at one point?
What would happen if we had two teams out west? Well, re-alignment would be a little tricky. But let's say the New Orleans Pelicans relocate to... Kansas City. Here's how I think it would go down:
Portland Trail Blazers
Kansas City Mahomes's
Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Clippers
Golden State Warriors
Las Vegas Blackjacks
San Antonio Spurs
Oklahoma City Thunder
New York Knicks
Of course, this ALL hinges on what happens to New Orleans in the next few years. If the Smoothie King Center lease is renewed, the picture gets a LOT more complicated. But that's a story for another day. In the meantime, Seattle and Las Vegas deserve to have NBA teams in their cities... and soon!