Adam Silver continues to suggest the NBA is not interested in expansion at this time beyond their current slate of 30 franchises.
Seattle remains without an NBA team while potentially viable cities like Vancouver, Montreal, Las Vegas and Mexico City also loom. Silver was asked specifically before Game 1 of The Finals in Toronto about expansion generally and a second team in Canada specifically.
"My answer is, you know, and 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," said Silver. "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 was then asked what could lead the NBA to be more amenable to expansion.
"At the end of the day 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," said Silver. "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’s in essence would be the analysis."