NBA expansion team to Las Vegas: Multiple groups join LeBron James in showing interest

NBA expansion to Las Vegas has been a talking point around the Association for some time now. Led by Commissioner Adam Silver, the league has shared a great relationship with the Southern Nevada city.

Most recently, the NBA announced that the Final 4 of its in-season tournament will be played in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena, the home of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. The NBA is also enjoying renewed interest in the Summer League in Sin City.

As for potential expansion, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported on Friday that multiple groups are eyeing a Las Vegas expansion team.

“I can already tell you that there are multiple groups that are preparing to buy this expansion team in Las Vegas, that I know about. Much less what I don’t know about. And LeBron [James] has also—not very veiled—indicated that he would like to be a part of the franchise in Vegas.”

Windhorst on potential NBA expansion to Las Vegas

The insider noted that James has been open about wanting to take part in the ownership of a Vegas-based NBA team. The Los Angeles Lakers star has not been subtle about that fact.

James just recently announced that he’s returning to the Lakers for another season after a brief flirtation with retirement. Any relationship with him and an expansion team would be ways down the road.

Timeline for NBA expansion to Las Vegas

nba expansion las vegas

NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum talked about this possibility back in June. While he did say that it’s not on the top of the list, there’s every reason to believe the topic will be broached sooner rather than later.

“Right now expansion is not at the top of our list. The next big thing on our agenda is getting through the national media rights deal. We’ve got two years left on that. So we won’t really focus on expansion until that point.

At that point I think we’ll do an assessment of whether it not it makes sense. The amount of talent in our league is incredible. We really do have 450 of the best players in the world. There is certainly enough talent to go around, but it’s not a priority right now. We have to go through an extensive analysis looking for places that have the right facilities.”

Tatum on NBA expansion

In addition to Las Vegas, the city of Seattle is seen as a popular option for an expansion. There is a thought around the league that the Pacific Northwest hub was dealt a bad hand when the Seattle Sonics moved following the 2007-08 season and rebranded as the Oklahoma City Thunder.

As for Vegas, it’s no surprise that the city continues to come up as a real possibility for expansion. It is close to becoming a three-team sports city with the MLB’s Oakland Athletics seemingly set to join the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights and NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders. Meanwhile, the WNBA’s Aces have enjoyed a ton of success in the desert metropolis.

If that weren’t enough, Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke said recently that his group has budgeted $10 billion for an entertainment complex and basketball arena to bring an NBA expansion team to Las Vegas.

Whether LeBron James is part of said expansion remains to be seen. But things seem to be trending in this direction in a big way.

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