With the recent drama surrounding the proposed sale & move of the Sacramento Kings to Seattle. I am proposing a compromise that would benefit the NBA, & both cities. I hear a lot of talk about how there needs to be contraction of the NBA, but I am proposing expansion by 2 teams to 32. I think the NBA should expand to 32 teams. There are enough good basketball players to not water down the talent. Plus it gives that many more people exposure to the game as fanbases of teams, & more fanbases means more fans & money for the league. Which is a good thing.
Well here is how my compromise would work. Let Chris Hanson's group buy the Kings, and relocate them to Seattle as the new "Supersonics". Then grant Kevin Johnson and his group of investors from Sacramento an expansion franchise. They would be the Kings re-born. Similar to the way the NFL did it with Cleveland Browns a few years back. With Sacramento having a team again. The NBA would need to add 1 more to make things even at 32 teams.
I believe there are many viable cities for an NBA franchise. My top 5 include: San Juan, Puerto Rico; Montreal, PQ; Vancouver, BC; Omaha, NE; Louisville, KY. Personally, I would like to see the NBA expand out of the USA tho. So that leaves San Juan, Montreal & Vancouver. If the NBA goes into Canada again. They would would have to put a team in the western part of the country. Montreal is east & to close to Toronto, so they are out. So now we have Vancouver. They had a shot, & in reallity did not draw that bad for how bad the team was. Puerto Rico has a pretty good basketball tradition. So San Juan is a big enough market, & would be a good candidate too. Where would the league need another team, is the question.
With going to 32 teams the league would also re-align into 2 conferences with two 8 team divisions. This would make scheduling very easy then. Teams would play the other conference teams once (16 games). Four home, four away with each division of other conference. They would play the teams in the other division of there own conferce 3 games each (24 games). A team would then play its own divsion opponents 6 times each (42 games). 16+ 24+ 42= 82 game. Easy there. Now for the playoffs the 2 division winners in each conference would be 1 & 2 seeds. The next 6 best records in the conference would make up seeds 3-8. Easy there, too.
OK now, here is how the new 32 team NBA would look. This reflects if either San Juan or Vancouver would be the league's 32nd team
Eastern Conference- Atlantic Division Boston, New York, Brooklyn, Washington, Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia, Toronto(if Vancouver) or San Juan(expansion team)
Eastern Conference- Central Division Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Indiana, Charlotte, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Toronto(if San Juan) or Minnesota(if Vancouver)
Western Conference- Midwest Division Dallas, Memphis, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Houston, Denver, Minnesota(if San Juan) or Utah(if Vancouver)
Western Conference- Pacific Division Golden State, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Portland, Seattle, new Sacramento, Phoenix, Utah(if San Juan) or Vancouver(expansion team)
I think this would be a good NBA. Let the expansion to 32 begin. I actually think this will happen before 2020. There is just too much money to made for the owners for them not to pass up.