Profits are way down amid the coronavirus pandemic, and expansion fees would provide a jolt of cash.
How much cash? That’s $166,666,667 for each of the existing 30 teams.
Could the league really generate that much? It’d be a record for a North American sports-franchise sale. The current high is the $2.35 billion Joseph Tsai paid for the Nets in 2019.
But the most valuable franchises don’t often come onto the market. Forbes valued seven NBA teams as worth at least $2.5 billion (though before coronavirus rocked the NBA). The league could work with potential owners to choose the most lucrative cities to place a new team.
The NBA could put expansion franchises practically anywhere. Seattle is by far the most likely destination, but the second city is more open – Las Vegas, Kansas City, Louisville, Mexico City and more.
It’s at least possible someone could pay $2.5 billion to own a team in one of those markets.