Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Seattle's next option: Milwaukee?
UPDATE: When the news came down on Monday afternoon that the NBA's relocation committee unanimously voted down the Kings' potential move to Seattle, the question for many immediately became: What other team is most at risk of relocation? For many, the answer was the same -- Milwaukee.
Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel wasted no time and wrote on this very topic yesterday. Overall, the feeling is that Bucks owner Sen. Herb Kohl doesn't have any intention to sell, and even if and when that time came he wouldn't sell to anyone who has the intent to move the franchise to another city. (Also, try to make sense of this. While studying as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, Kohl roomed with Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, who purchased the Seattle Pilots in bankruptcy court in 1970 and brought the team since known as the Brewers to Milwaukee.)
The Bucks team have bought itself some time to come up with plans for a new arena -- their recently extended lease at the BMO Harris Bradley Center runs through Sept. 30, 2017, which the Bucks view as a "bridge to a new facility."
From Seattle's viewpoint, though, being wrapped up in another battle for another city's team sounds about as fun as trying to stop Kevin Johnson on the fastbreak.
There have also been other unconfirmed reports that the NBA could possibly be considering the addition of two expansion teams at some point in the near future. We'll definitely keep you updated if anything more comes of that.
If the NBA is ever going to return to Seattle, it almost certainly won't happen next season. After the NBA's relocation committee unanimously voted down the Kings' potential move to Seattle today, it all but guarantees that the rest of the owners will follow suit when they vote in two weeks.
So what's next for Seattle? What other teams might be at risk of moving? Here are the few options the Emerald City could have to land its next NBA team.
Sadly, if you're a Seattle fan, there aren't many good options out there:
1) Expansion -- It's probably the best option, from Seattle's perspective anyway. Nobody in Seattle wants to steal another team -- not its fans or the prospective ownership group led by Chris Hansen -- but as it stands today that appears to be the only option; the NBA has repeatedly indicated that it isn't open to expansion.
2) Charlotte -- If Seattle can't gain a team through expansion, the Bobcats are probably the next team on the list who could be at risk of moving. Memphis, New Orleans and now Sacramento are no longer the options they were at times over the past year. With losses mounting in recent years and attendance near the bottom of the league, relocation could become an option.