NBA commissioner Adam Silver: No plans to add Seattle team
Adam Silver, who took over for David Stern as NBA commissioner on Feb. 1, said the league is not ready to add an expansion team in Seattle.
“Seattle is a wonderful market. It would be very additive to the league to have a team there,” Silver told ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst. “But we’re not planning on expanding right now so it’s not a function of price.”
One possible reason for sticking with 30 teams is because any more would dilute the money each team will get from a new TV deal when the current agreement ends in 2016, Windhorst reports.
But Silver is more worried about the talent pool diluting.
“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.”
But Mavericks owner Mark Cuban thinks there’s a good chance of expansion in Seattle based on the prices a team would warrant.
Writes Windhorst: “Cuban, though, had reason to make such a prediction about expansion in Seattle. The group that wanted to move the Kings and reincarnate the SuperSonics had offered $420 million to buy 72 percent of the team plus a record $115 million relocation fee, $200 million to repay bonds issued for a new arena and has already spent $80 million to buy land in South Seattle for the new building.
“That meant those Seattle investors, led by Chris Hansen and Microsoft billionaire Steve Ballmer, were willing to commit more than $800 million for a team in 2013. Such expansive an aggressive bid clearly left Cuban wondering just how far that group might go financially to get a team in Seattle in the next few years.”