Good Or Bad Idea: NBA Expansion?
Good Or Bad Idea: NBA Expansion? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
Will the NBA work in the desert or the Pacific Northwest? Those are the questions league owners are reportedly asking themselves as talk of expanding the league has crossed the mind of commissioner Adam Silver. The move is believed by many to be a response to the recent events, as much as for the good of the league’s competitive balance and entertainment value. So, I ask you, do you think an NBA Expansion is a good idea or a bad idea?
The NBA is having very loud internal discussions about expanding the league and are considering placing teams in Las Vegas and Seattle. The motivations behind adding two new teams, the first since 2004, are considered to be the estimated $2 Billion expansion fee incoming teams would need to pay NBA owners for the right to buy into their money-making venture. The fees, which are divided up, would be a great way for owners to “make back” some of the money lost during the Covid-19 pandemic without increasing their salary cap.
For me it is clear that money is the only important factor to expand the NBA in the near future. That’s because there are so many reasons working against adding two new teams.
First, adding two teams in the western half of the United States would throw off the perfect balance the 2 NBA conferences has with 15 teams each. The likely fallout of this would be a moving of teams like Minnesota and New Orleans out of the West and into the Eastern Conference.
Secondly, there is the problem of divisional alignment, which sees each conference with three divisions of five teams each. While you may be able to turn two Western teams into Eastern teams, the days of having three divisions will be over, causing the league to likely go to four eight-team divisions.
Of course, something else that will change for the worse is the schedule, one which is already watered down because it forces every team to play two games against those in the opposite conference each season rather than against those they compete against for a playoff spot. A new 32-team alignment will likely still see those long coast to coast road trips for teams; but only longer and probably more frequent since there will be more teams to play on those trips.
Then, there are the issues of competitive balance and roster talent. With so many players looking to form “Super Teams” with their friends, will two new expansion teams have a chance to put together a competitive roster or even keep those players if their stars want to go play with their friends somewhere else? How do we know the new cities chosen to host an NBA team will be the destination and not the departure point for the league’s young stars when they become free agents? After all, Charlotte is already on their second NBA team having lost their first to New Orleans, and Vancouver lost their team to Memphis when Western Canada proved unable to support a team.
There’s a big difference between needing to expand and wanting to expand. Is having 30 more roster spots on two more teams really going to bring that much more talent to the NBA, or will it just allow a few more second team players to start somewhere else and be part of a losing franchise for a few years?
The money is nice for the NBA owners of course, and how much, if any they will need to share with current players remains to be seen. In the end, however, adding more teams to a league that already sees a third of their teams non-competitive from the start of the season doesn’t seem like a great idea. But then again, it’s not supposed to be, because most money grabs are not the best of ideas, they are only designed to make a few people money.
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Good Or Bad Idea: NBA Expansion? | TooAthletic.com