Will Las Vegas ride Seattle to an NBA expansion team?

Seattle dominates the storylines of possible NBA expansion. It is widely assumed that when the NBA adds teams, the Sonics will be back. 

Fortunately for Las Vegas (and this website), the NBA might add two teams at once to keep the league balanced. So any Seattle rumors can become Las Vegas rumors.

Jon Finkel, who wrote the book “Hoops Heist: Seattle, the Sonics and How a Stolen Team’s Legacy Gave Rise to the NBA’s Secret Empire“, joined the Good Seats Still Available podcast to talk Seattle basketball. While Finkel didn’t bring breaking news, he did supply a pretty strong belief the NBA is expanding. 

“I think it’s absolutely going to happen,” Finkel said. “It’ll definitely be the Sonics coming back. I think there is a ton of momentum.”

He continued: “I’ve heard them and Vegas coming in together. So two new teams.”

Again, Finkel isn’t Adam Silver or even claiming to have talked to Silver in this process, but the logic is pretty simple. 

First, the NBA is going to expand. Second, Seattle is a runaway favorite to land a team. Third, the NBA wants to increase by two. Fourth, Las Vegas would be a prime candidate to join the league at the same time as Seattle. 

However Finkel’s timeline was a little concerning.

“I wouldn’t be surprised in let’s say the next three years it is announced that they’re (Seattle) getting a new team. And maybe by the end of the decade they have a team or hopefully sooner than that,” Finkel said.

Expansion does not happen quickly, but if NBA owners are expanding to simply create cash flow after losing out on revenue for the past 12 months, that 3-10 year timeline would be an eternity before owners actually get their hands on that money.

Las Vegas still needs an owner and an arena plan, both of which could already be in place with MGM and T-Mobile Arena. But ultimately, NBA expansion for Las Vegas is riding the coattails of Seattle. 

You can hear the full Good Seats Still available podcast here. The NBA expansion talk starts around the 1:05:00 mark.

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