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NBA Expansion City Odds: Seattle & Vegas Most Likely Options

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 5 mins

NBA Expansion City Odds: Seattle & Vegas Most Likely Options

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver has a media deal to work out, and that’s the top priority going into next spring’s negotiation period. The NBA has one year left on its nine-year media rights contract. Silver has said once the new contract is finalized, the league's attention will turn to expansion. 

The 30-team NBA has become a global force, and going to 32 teams – the same number of franchises in the NFL – is inevitable. 

Bookies.com oddsmaker has updated his hypothetical NBA odds as to which cities could get one of two expansion teams, whenever that day comes. 

Next NBA Expansion City Odds

CityOddsImplied Probability
Las Vegas+11047.6%
Kansas City+12007.7%
Mexico City+18005.3%
The Field+10009.1%

Odds are projected and do not reflect any odds that may be available at legal betting apps

*Note: Odds reflect that more than one team is likely to join at the same time

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Two cities stand out as clear favorites if the NBA pushes from 30 to 32.

It wasn’t long ago that professional sports leagues were afraid to venture into Las Vegas. The NBA led the way in terms of embracing NBA betting into the mainstream. But it will be the last of the "Big Four" sports to get a pro team, which is somewhat surprising given the ever-growing popularity of the Las Vegas Summer League (it moved to Vegas in 2004).

The NHL and NFL have already done so with great success, and it’s likely MLB snatches the Oakland A's away in the very near future. Vegas is how to the NBA's Summer League and has hosted All-Star Weekend. It seems almost inevitable, especially with LeBron James outwardly saying he wants to own a franchise in the city someday. 

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said prior to this year's All-Star Break that Vegas is "definitely" an expansion candidate

Seattle had a team for 41 years before new ownership took the squad to Oklahoma City after failing to get a new arena. The SuperSonics’ fanbase hasn’t wavered much since the team left in 2008. Seattle is the largest metro area in the U.S. without a team. It’s tough to imagine the Emerald City not going all-in when the time comes to submit a proposal. 

RELATED: Next MLB Expansion City Odds: Nashville Leads the Way

Those two teams make a lot of sense and are clear favorites to land NBA expansion teams. But other towns will make strong cases. 

Silver said the NBA will eventually expand to new regions outside of the country, and Mexico City tops the list. Central and South America are practically new markets for the NBA to infiltrate, and Mexico City has hosted close to 30 NBA games in the past. Its metro area of 21.8 million makes it slightly larger than New York City. 

The other international spot on the radar is London, still a growing community when it comes to hoops, though travel and logistical issues may make it tough. The late former NBA commissioner David Stern predicted an All-Europe division within the NBA by 2033 and thought it would be the only way to make it work. 

The U.S. has its own competitors. 

Nashville has morphed itself from a country music town to an all-entertainment destination. The NFL’s Tennessee Titans and NHL’s Nashville Predators have flourished, and the two are high up the ranks in the latest MLB expansion odds. But with a team already in Memphis, would the Association put a second team in Tennessee? 

Perhaps hoops-crazed Louisville makes more sense. It has been trying to get in on the expansion conversation in the hopes to be considered when the time came. The city already boasts a 22,000-seat sparking arena that hosts U-of-L basketball, and a former legend (Dan Issel) as its spokesperson. There's a lack of pro teams in the area, so it could be the hub of a larger region that includes Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Nashville. 

Kansas City is a growing community known for its sports fandom, not just for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, but a raucous MLS home crowd and a strong loyalty to the “small market” Royals of MLB. It is also arena-ready with the T-Mobile Center downtown, which has kept it in the odds for the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, who may be moving from Phoenix. 

The Field includes a number of cities known for their love of basketball or with a strong metro area that is currently void of the league, including Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and San Diego. Montreal could be a dark horse. 

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.