As the 2024 NBA Finals heat up with the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks vying for the championship, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is already looking ahead, pondering the future expansion of the league. During a pregame segment on NBC Sports Boston’s Celtics Pregame Live at TD Garden, Silver discussed the potential for the NBA to grow beyond its current 30 teams after securing new long-term media rights deals.

“We have to understand what our long-term media relationships are before we look to expansion,” Silver explained to co-hosts Tom Giles, Eddie House, and Brian Scalabrine. The league is on the cusp of wrapping up significant media agreements, with the current deal set to expire after the 2024-25 season. According to Silver, these negotiations are expected to conclude in the “relative near term,” potentially leading to a substantial increase in revenues. Reports from the Wall Street Journal indicate that the NBA might secure agreements worth about $76 billion over the next 11 years with networks like NBC, ESPN, and Amazon.

While the idea of expanding the NBA is not definite, the anticipated financial boon from these deals makes it a strong possibility. This would align the NBA with other major U.S. sports leagues like the NFL and NHL, which already consist of 32 teams. “It’s not preordained that we’ll expand,” Silver noted, acknowledging concerns about diluting talent. However, he remains optimistic about the global growth of basketball talent, affirming, “I don’t think there’s any doubt that over time, this league can sustain two more teams.”

Interest in NBA expansion is widespread, with several cities in the U.S. and Canada expressing their desire for a team. Silver specifically mentioned ongoing discussions about potentially reintroducing a team to Seattle and the strong interest from Las Vegas. Additionally, he highlighted Mexico City as a prospective location, which could further the NBA’s international reach beyond the Toronto Raptors. “But there’s lots of other U.S. cities and Canadian cities, frankly, that have reached out to us to tell us they’d be interested,” he added.

As the NBA Finals continue, the league’s potential expansion looms as a significant future development, promising to reshape the professional basketball landscape in North America and possibly beyond. With new teams potentially joining the ranks, the NBA is poised to leverage its growing popularity and the rich vein of global basketball talent.



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