clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NBA expansion to 36 teams plus contracted regular season & postseason schedule.

New, comment
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

I propose granting expansion franchises to Baltimore, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis & Seattle. All of these cities currently support MLB & NFL franchises while having supported former NBA teams.

  • '46-'47 Pittsburgh Ironmen
  • '47-'54 & '63-'73 Baltimore Bullets
  • '55-'68 Saint Louis Hawks
  • '57-'72 Cincinnati Royals
  • '67-'08 Seattle Supersonics
  • '72-'75 Kansas City/Omaha Kings & '75-'85 Kansas City Kings

I think all of these cities deserve another chance to have their own NBA franchise again. Instead of holding expansion drafts of veteran NBA players to stock these new teams, I propose adding 2 teams per year and letting these new teams monopolize the 1st round of the amateur draft during those years, each getting 15 selections while established teams get to keep their 2nd round selections.


Baltimore, Cincinnati & Pittsburgh would be added to the Eastern Conference, while Kansas City, Saint Louis & Seattle would be added to the Western Conference. In addition I would switch Memphis & New Orleans to the Eastern Conference, while Chicago & Milwaukee switch to the Western Conference. The Northeast Division replaces the Northwest Division, while the Central Division is switched to the Western Conference.

Eastern Conference:


Atlantic Division:

  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Brooklyn
  • New York
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington


Northeast Division:

  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Detroit
  • Indiana
  • Pittsburgh
  • Toronto


Southeast Division:

  • Atlanta
  • Charlotte
  • Memphis
  • Miami
  • New Orleans
  • Orlando


Western Conference:


Central Division:

  • Chicago
  • Denver
  • Kansas City
  • Milwaukee
  • Minnesota
  • Saint Louis

Southwest Division:

  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Oklahoma City
  • Phoenix
  • San Antonio
  • Utah

Pacific Division:

  • Golden State
  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Portland
  • Sacramento
  • Seattle

The regular season is way too long and should be contracted to 72 games. Each team would play:

  • 3 home games + 3 road games vs. the 5 teams from their same division = 30 games.
  • 1 home game + 1 road game vs. the other 12 teams from their same conference = 24 games.
  • 1 game vs. the 18 teams from the other conference = 18 games.


The postseason is also way too long. All playoff series, except the NBA Finals, should be contracted from best-4-out-of-7 to best-3-out-of-5, including the first 2 games at the home of the lower seed & the last 3 games at the home of the higher seed. The NBA Finals would remain best-4-out-of-7-games, including a 2-3-2 format.