Kevin Durant, the last real star of the Seattle SuperSonics before they were ripped from their city and re-purposed as the Oklahoma City Thunder, recently said that Seattle is a “basketball city” and deserves another chance to host an NBA franchise. The rebirth of the SuperSonics may eventually happen, but it won’t be anytime soon according to a new report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
The report claims that potential ownership groups for the potential expansion team have met with NBA officials, but were told that a new team wouldn’t start playing until 2025 — at the earliest. One of the reasons for this is that the current NBA television deal expires at the end of the 2024-25 season, meaning teams won’t have to further split the massive TV income with a new owner before then.
The main issue is (and always has been) where to play. A potential NHL ownership group is hoping a vastly renovated Key Arena — where the SuperSonics used to play before they moved — will be the answer for both of the potential new teams. The NHL executive committee recently voted to recommend Seattle for expansion, although there’s still plenty of hurdles to get over before pro hockey comes to Seattle. However, the NHL group is hoping the new team will be able to start playing in a couple of years, aligned with the start of the 2020-21 season.
The NBA board of governors did not discuss the NHL’s expansion plans in their recent meeting, according to Windhorst. The two teams would very likely share a building, like so many other NHL/NBA teams from the same city.