NBA Rumors: Seattle Expansion Not Discussed by Owners, Grizzlies a 'Wild Card'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2018

Seattle Supersonics fan Colin Baxter demonstrates before Game 4 of the NBA finals basketball series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat, Tuesday, June 19, 2012, in Miami.  The Thunder used to be the Supersonics.(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

While the NBA reportedly has no immediate plans for expansion, the return of an NBA franchise in Seattle could come in the form of relocation by another team. 

According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, expansion isn't on the NBA timeline until 2025 at the earliest, which is when a new television deal can be negotiated.

Aside from expansion, Windhorst noted that the Memphis Grizzlies are considered a "wild card" in terms of possibly relocating to the Emerald City.

Windhorst added that some lawyers who have reviewed the Grizzlies' lease with FedEx Forum believe there is a window for the team to relocate in 2021.

That would require current owner Robert Pera to sell the team, but Windhorst pointed out that there is no indication he intends to do so.

Seattle has been without an NBA franchise since the SuperSonics became the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008.

The primary reason for the Sonics' relocation to Oklahoma City 10 years ago was the fact that it needed a new arena.

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KeyArena is set to be renovated in hopes of landing both an NBA and NHL franchise.

Per Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league would vote in December to decide whether to admit Seattle as an expansion franchise.

In March, 33,000 season ticket deposits were put down by those anticipating an NHL team in Seattle.

A similar response would likely occur if Seattle manages to bring the NBA back to the city as well.

On Friday, the Golden State Warriors will face the Sacramento Kings in a preseason game that will be held at KeyArena, marking the first NBA game in Seattle since the SuperSonics departed.

Following the game, KeyArena will shut its doors, and the $750 million renovation project will begin, according to Windhorst.