NBA commissioner Adam Silver has ruled out the idea of expanding the league in the near future.
Responding to a question from a Seattle-based fan following his key note speech at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, Silver highlighted a couple of issues that mean the league will likely stay at 30 franchises for the forseeable future.
"We are 30 partners right now. 30 teams. Each of those teams own 1/30th of all the global opportunities of the NBA. So the issue becomes, if you expand, do you want to sell one of those interests off to a new group of partners?" said Silver, via CBS Sports.
"One reason to do it of course, is that if it’s additive. And no doubt, Seattle is a great market. At the moment, like for me as successful as the league is right now, we (are) not in the position, putting even aside profitability, where all 30 teams are must-see experiences. That’s not a secret."
For Silver, it is clearly important to find the right balance and, in further comments, he expressed his concerns about spreading the league's talent pool too thin.
“There are so many great players in the league,” he said. “And that’s one of the issues with expansion.
"Even putting aside the financial notion of selling equity and whether if it’s additive to the league as a whole to add more teams, the question becomes is it dilutive in terms of talent. And that’s something that I’m focused on as well.”
The NBA welcomed its 30th team into the league back in 2004 in the form of the Charlotte Bobcats, while Seattle losts their NBA franchise with the establishment of the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008.