A few years ago, the idea of adding two NBA teams would have likely drawn little interest from basketball fans, considering there wasn’t enough talent to go around. However, the NBA is clearly in a talent boom, and with their television contract set to expire soon and a much larger new one replacing it, the league could soon have two new teams. ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski stated it as much more recent.
How would expansion affect the NBA?
The last time the NBA had an expansion team was back in 2004 with the Charlotte Bobcats. Generally, expansion teams are prevented from picking first in the NBA draft. Actually, when the league added the Vancouver Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors in 1995, they were prevented from picking in the top 3 for their first three seasons.
Those types of rules often mean that expansion teams are bad to start their existence, though there is an expansion draft. The expansion draft would allow the two new teams to fill out their rosters with existing players from other franchises.
Considering that teams can have up to 15 players on their regular roster and three two-way spots, the expansion teams could have a lot of players to choose from. Far more than the Bobcats did when the rosters were still set at 12 and there weren’t two-way spots. Generally, teams can protect eight players from an expansion draft, but it would probably be increased to nine players. Even then, teams with deep rosters could be at risk.
With NBA expansion looming, there may be some conference realignment coming soon and the Minnesota Timberwolves are the franchise most likely to be moved.
Two such teams could include Oklahoma City and San Antonio, both of whom have talented young rosters full of recent draft picks that could be poached. Even then, sifting through the back half of other teams’ rosters likely won’t result in immediate results. But with the dramatic increase in talent across the NBA, it would only be a matter of time before those potential expansion teams land a franchise player.