With the NBA in Las Vegas in the coming weeks for the first in-season tournament, fans are speculating about when the NBA will expand to Las Vegas. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, it seems like the NBA will expand after the NBA TV deal is done over the next year. He named Las Vegas and Seattle as the expected expansion destinations.
The NBA has been looking to move back to Seattle since the Thunder left the city in 2008. The NBA TV deal expires ends after the 2024-25 season. According to Front Office Sports, the NBA wants $50-75 billion dollars for the complete package of their NBA TV rights. This will most likely come from a variation of different mega-corporations that will take part in the NBA TV lineup.
It will be very easy for both teams to establish themselves in their home market due to the fact that basketball is highly appealing to both of these markets. Seattle was a highly succesful market for the NBA and was only forced to move out due to the fact that the NBA couldn't get the necessary funds to rebuild their stadium. Las Vegas is highly populated with NBA fans and has had huge success with their WNBA tea.
What will the NBA look like once Las Vegas and Seattle are given a expansion team?
The NBA will be forever changed once those two teams are added to the league. Most likely, a team like the New Orleans Pelicans will be moved to the Eastern Conference. This is due to the fact that Las Vegas and Seattle are west-coast cities and do not really fit into the Eastern Conference.
It's hard to predict what an expansion draft will look like but it could be that every team is allowed to protect fourteen players and each expansion team is only able to take one player from each team. This is what happened when the Hornets were granted an expansion team.