Add Ric Bucher to the choir of voices pointing out that Seattle could be on the prowl for a non-expansion NBA franchise. Today he reiterated (on Twitter/Sulia) that Milwaukee could be a prime target for Chris Hansen’s prospective ownership group.
The Milwaukee Bucks have to be at the top of the tout sheet. A league source says that Bucks owner Herb Kohl has until 2017 to present a plan for a new arena; if he can’t come up with one, supposedly there will be a push to sell the franchise to someone who can. Or who already has a brand-new arena built and waiting. Kohl has been a long-time upstanding owner, from everything I’ve been told, and such a measure seems not only harsh but draconian. Such, though, is the precedent set by manipulating authority of the Kings out of the hands of the Maloofs.
Bucher is actually selling it a bit short here. The auction-style offers went from Vivek Ranadive’s group offering to wean itself of its luxury tax payout to Chris Hansen promising to be a luxury tax payer.
He goes on to emphasize an important point that makes expansion less of an “everybody wins” option:
The league likes having balanced conferences and if there’s resistance to adding another slice to the divvying of the money pie, there’s no consideration for adding two slices.
If one team is added then the conferences and schedules get lopsided. If two are added, each equally split revenue stream becomes a 1/32nd share instead of a 1/30th share. In terms of fractions, it doesn’t sound like much. But when magnified into the hundreds of millions (or more), it makes a huge difference.