You even had LeBron James chime in this week:
SOURCE - Speaking to reporters after Monday's preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets, James said "it just makes sense" from a business perspective for the league to have a team based in Vegas.
James specifically cited the success other sports leagues have had operating in the city:
"Obviously you have the Raiders here, you have the (Golden Knights) here, you have the Aces here. You got F1 coming very soon. All-Star Weekend has been here a few times. You've got the NBA Summer League. … I think adding an NBA franchise here would just add to the momentum that's going on in this town."
This is different than MLB expanding in that the two cities the NBA will expand to are a lot more clear. It's almost certainly going to be Seattle and Las Vegas. Seattle absolutely got screwed when the Bennetts moved the Supersonics to Oklahoma City. By the way, I don't blame Graham. He's merely a scion.
As for Vegas, an NBA team almost makes too much sense. We've all seen Adam Silver going from light flirting with the city to waking up in a hotel with Las Vegas at this point. It's also not a coincidence that Lebron is that interested in Vegas getting a team. There have been rumors for years now that he will align with John Henry on owning a Las Vegas NBA expansion team.
We haven't had a traditional NBA expansion draft in quite some time. In 2004, the Bobcats entered the league but it was the rare case where you had a one team expansion draft. That makes the whole process pretty boring as the team quietly gets a list of protected players and then just puts out a list of who they want. You need two teams drafting at the same time to make it interesting. Even saying that, Gerald Wallace was a pretty great pick they got from the Kings.
The last time we had that was all the way back in 1995 when the Vancouver Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors entered the league. It was so much more interesting. You had the Raptors take three-time champion with the Bulls, BJ Armstrong with the first pick despite being a year removed from the All-Star Game. A few months later, the Raptors traded him to the Warriors for six players.
I love shit like that. Weird player moves are the best. There is nothing I love more in sports than expansion drafts. I'm sure everyone will be excited for the Vegas team but I think I'll be rooting for the Seattle one. I hope they can keep the same logo and colors as the Supersonics. They should appeal to the NBA to get their records back like the Browns did in the NFL. The Thunder don't deserve to hang a banner with the 1979 title. That belongs to Seattle.
I'm so psyched for this. It's fun to go through rosters and see who each team would protect. When they did the 1995 expansion draft, each team could protect eight players. With the salary cap, it's a fun exercise to see who or wouldn't be available for the new teams. If it was me, I would try to selects some veterans (if available) and trade whatever I could for draft picks. Maybe Seattle could even wind up getting this guy back in a few years to end his career in the perfect bookend.