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Report: NBA ‘widely believed’ to expand past 30 teams with Seattle and Las Vegas mentioned as potential destinations

Kevin Durant Seattle SuperSonics

A new report indicates that the NBA is “widely believed” to be ready to expand beyond 30 teams, with the cities of Seattle and Las Vegas two of the prime candidates to join the league.

Michael Grange of Sportnet.ca looked at the potential departure of Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri and pointed to the NBA’s apparent plans to expand as a reason why Ujiri could leave.

“It’s widely believed the NBA will expand for the first time since rounding out to 30 teams in 2004 partly to recoup losses from the pandemic,” Grange wrote. “Returning to Seattle as part of the process is almost a given (with Las Vegas as the other likely city) now that the arena issues that led to the Supersonics leaving for Oklahoma City in 2008 have been resolved.”

The Seattle SuperSonics were originally an NBA expansion team in 1967, but left in 2008 to become the Oklahoma City Thunder, sparking outrage in the Seattle community.

In the case of Las Vegas, what had been a longstanding approach to avoid the city because of connections to gambling have faded, with both the NFL and NHL now having teams there.

With regard to Ujiri, he could simply sign a new contract after the season to stay with the Raptors. However, the apparent need for the NBA to find revenue to replace the losses suffered during the past two seasons make expansion the likely solution.

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