During a pre-NBA Finals press conference, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made a significant announcement, setting the stage for the league’s potential expansion. This comes in the wake of a new media rights agreement that has been a topic of discussion for the 2023-24 season. Silver provided detailed insights into adding new franchises to the league.

“Media deals, it’s been a long process. It’s ongoing, and we hope to wrap it up in the relatively near term, and then we will turn to expansion. But by turning to expansion, it doesn’t mean we’re going to announce that now we’re ready to add teams. This means there will be a committee of NBA governors to focus on. There are markets out there that are very interested and will run through a process.”

The NBA has flirted with expansion but has had the same 30 teams since the Charlotte Bobcats, now Hornets, entered the league in 2004. The last squad to relocate was the New Jersey Nets, who moved north to Brooklyn in 2012.

While the NBA stays stagnant, the other major sports leagues in the United States have changed their landscape. Since 2018, the NHL added two new teams, the Las Vegas Knights and Seattle Kraken, pushing its league to 32 squads. The NFL and MLB have not added a new team in recent years. Still, multiple teams relocated, including the Oakland Raiders moving to Las Vegas, and the Oakland Athletics expected to head east to Sin City in a couple of years. The NBA considers Seattle and Las Vegas the first cities to receive a new team with large sports markets and stadiums already built.

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While yet to be official, estimates believe the new media rights deal for the NBA will be around $76 billion and allow games to be broadcast on multiple channels and streaming services. Adding an expansion team could cost between $3-4 billion as the prices of sports teams skyrocketed in recent years, most recently with the sale of the Hornets last year for $3 billion.

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