SEATTLE — Could Seattle be closer to bringing back the Sonics?
For the first time, since the Sonics left in 2008, NBA commissioner Adam Silver calls expansion a "possibility" and gives a timeline of when it could happen.
The commissioner talked about it before game two of the NBA Finals Sunday on NBA-TV.
Shaquille O'Neal asked Silver, "with everything going so well, do you see in the near future more expansion teams? Like you hear Seattle, you hear Las Vegas. Is that a possibility?"
Silver replied, "It is a possibility."
The commissioner went on to say the league first needed to finalize a collective bargaining deal with the players and they've got that done. Next up, the league will work on its media rights package. Silver hopes to begin negotiating that, in earnest, by next spring.
Once the media rights package is done, Silver said, "we'll turn to expansion."
So if Silver is true to his word, the NBA could start the expansion process by the summer of 2024, if not sooner.
One more observation, when Shaq mentioned Seattle and Las Vegas as possible cities for expansion, Silver did not flinch or correct him. The commissioner said there are a lot of great cities interested in the NBA.