Making the case to add 12 More NBA and WNBA Expansion Teams by 2032   6 comments

…You read that right. 12 teams over the next 16 years should be added to the NBA and the WNBA–4 to the NBA and 8 to the WNBA. Given the cross-promotion during the NBA All-Star Weekend for the last 16 years fueled speculation the two leagues might merge, I think it’s time the WNBA in particular added more teams to the league.

These are the 8 cities I’m looking at to put a WNBA team:

  • Detroit*
  • Miami
  • Oklahoma City
  • Boston/New England*
  • Cleveland
  • Philadephia
  • Toronto
  • Houston*

* Denotes this city used to host a WNBA team

Most remember the Houston Comets, who won 4 Championships in a row. Some might remember the Detroit Shock but it’s doubtful anyone remembers the New England Blizzard, which played in at home in Boston and Connecticuit. The obvious question to ask is why were these three franchises disbanded. The answer is simple: Money.

The WNBA is the first women’s pro league yet it hasn’t been given the same chance to shine as the NBA. Few people are even aware that in general, WNBA players are paid a fraction of what NBA players make even though they do the same thing prettymuch. Both the current and previous commissioners have lied to fans of the game saying WNBA players get the same treatment as NBA players: NBA Players don’t need to play in Europe or China during the off season for example. Why? Because the WNBA can barely pay its players.

The WNBA has been losing money for at least the last 10 years. The WNBA Season was shortened and some franchises were disbanded in a bid to cut operating costs. Can you imagine if this happened in the NBA? I’d say it’s especially embarrassing the team that had two of the best WNBA players in history–Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoops–are dusbanded. The team needs to be brought back.

For those who don’t bother to pay attention, the WNBA no longer has an Eastern and a Western Conference or even divisions: The 8 teams with the best record are automatically in the playoffs at the end of the season. There ARE only 12 teams so…yeah. My proposal would bring the number of teams to 20 by 2032. All of the listed cities have an NBA Team so they won’t need to build a new arena.
…As everyone is aware, the Seattle Supersonics left the northwest after the 2006-07 season and became the Oklahoma City Thunder. Seattle basketball fans have been asking the NBA to bring back the Supersonics ever since. The problem: NBA Commissioner Adam Silva recently stated the NBA has no plans on adding new expansion teams at this time. A possible team in Louisville, Kentucky that likely would already have an arena to play in would add another team to the East, bringing the total number of NBA teams to 32.

There actually WAS an ABA team in Louisville until 1975–The Kentucky Colonels and yes, they were named after Colonel Sanders of KFC fame. Of course, there is the NCAA Basketball team based in Louisville. Given how many NBA players came out of that NCAA team, WHY there isn’t an NBA team there makes no sense.

This bring us to the other two expansion teams: Put a team St. Louis in the East and the other in Las Vegas in the West. This will bring the total number of NBA teams to 34. Putting an NBA Team in St. Louis will help offset the fact the city recently lost their NFL team, the Rams. On that note, it is also true St. Louis had a football team named the Cardinals but they moved to Phoenix. LOL. If the Cardinals NBA team fails, they can move the franchise to Cincinnati, OH or Buffalo, NY. An NBA team in Las Vegas would be huge, more so given the Raiders are in talks with the city ro move there after the upcoming NFL Season. Money wouldn’t be a problem.

If these teams work out come 2032, then we can look at adding two additional NBA teams, both in Canada: Ottawa in the East and Vancouver in the West. The Grizzlies were originally in Vancouver of course. The team never made the playoffs when it was north of the boarder and never had the following the Raptors got early on. Attendance was low to boot. It was always in its eastern counterpart’s shadow. Ottawa has an NHL team, yes but it is the capital of Canada. The Raptors are a few years from winning their first Championship–about 3 years I’d say–and when they do, the demand will certainly grow. This will bring the total number of NBA Teams to 36.

Factoring the new proposed teams, there would be 18 in each conference and 6 in each division:


  • Boston Celtics
  • New York Knicks
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Ottawa Team


  • Chicago Bulls
  • Cleveland Caveliers
  • Detroit Pistons
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Louisville Colonels
  • Milwaukee Bucks


  • Miami Heat
  • Orlando Magic
  • Charlotte Hornets
  • Washington Wizards
  • Atlanta Hawks
  • St. Louis Team


  • Golden State Warriors
  • LA Clippers
  • LA Lakers
  • Sacremento Kings
  • Phoenix Suns
  • Vancouver Team



  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Houston Rockets
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Las Vegas Team



  • Denver Nuggets
  • Portland Trailblazers
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Utah Jazz
  • Seattle Supersonics

…That’s how I have it mapped out. Each division gains a new team. The Season would also have to be extended to 96 games to accommodate the extra teams. Either the season runs 3 weeks longer or begins 3 weeks sooner. The playoff format could remain the same: The top 8 from each conference make the playoffs for a total of 16 teams. 20 teams don’t make the cut. Option 2 is increasing the playoff format from 8 per conference to 16 per conference for a total of 32 teams. 2 teams wouldn’t make the cut at all. Of course, for this to work the playoffs would be changed to best of 5 but would still last until the end of June. Option 3 would be similar to the WNBA’s new format: The top 16 teams regardless of conference make the playoffs. The ensures the teams with the best records overall make the playoffs.

Regardless, I think it’s time for some radical change in the NBA and the WNBA. What could be more radical than just merging both leagues?



6 responses to “Making the case to add 12 More NBA and WNBA Expansion Teams by 2032

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  1. Hey this was an interesting read. I like the angle of adding some Canadian teams and especially the Vegas idea. Good write-up and excited to follow the blog!

  2. The New England Blizzard wasn’t a WNBA team. They played in a rival league.

  3. The New England Blizzard wan’t a WNBA team. They played in a rival league.

  4. I’d love to see a WNBA team in Oakland. I think it would be a very successful market with the fan base of some of the local women’s college basketball teams who would cross over.

    • Aren’t the Golden State Warriors in Oakland? Can’t remember offhand if it’s Oakland or San Francisco but either way, there are already 3 other California NBA teams (Sacremento Kings, LA Lakers and LA Clippers). I don’t see the NBA adding a 5th team to the state and especially one so close to an existing franchise. It’s already crazy rnough both LA teams share the same arena.

  5. Miami had a team, the Sol.
    Cleveland had the Rockers,
    Boston never had a team, but New England currently does, the Connecticut Sun, who moved from Orlando (Miracle) the same year that the Miami Sol folded.

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