NBA Commissioner Adam Silver indicated that he was discussing with a Montreal group about the arrival of a possible expansion team in the metropolis.
Silver addressed the topic in a television interview that took place during the Boston Celtics-New York Knicks game Monday night. He notably indicated that he did not rule out the possibility of setting up a new dealership in Canada, in Montreal or Vancouver, or even in Mexico City, Mexico.
The NBA commissioner, when asked about possible expansion, said the league would explore the option after the television rights are renewed — the current deal will expire after the 2024-25 season.
“It’s become a very good basketball market,” he said on air, about Canada. I would say that the Toronto Raptors have done a very good job… in order to become Canada’s team. I know there is interest in Montreal. And I know there’s always been interest in Vancouver. »
In total, 27 Canadian players are currently playing in the NBA — a trend that has not gone unnoticed by Silver. The latter also recalled the recent successes of the Canadian men’s basketball team, which managed to win the bronze medal at the FIBA World Cup last summer after defeating the United States.
No country besides the United States provides as many players to the NBA as Canada. Among the biggest stars of the maple leaf who play in the NBA are the Quebecois Luguentz Dort (Oaklahoma City Thunder), Bennedict Mathurin (Indiana Pacers) and Chris Boucher (Toronto Raptors), as well as the Ontarians Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Thunder), Andrew Wiggins (Golden State Warriors) and Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets).
“When we first set up there (in Canada), it was definitely a hockey market,” Silver told NBC Sports Boston. Young people enjoy basketball now. They obviously still love hockey, but there will be other opportunities eventually. »
A group of businessmen who have been trying to establish an NBA team in Montreal for more than six years, which notably includes Quebec politician Michael Fortier, declared that there “is nothing to report” in this subject last March. Fortier added during the same public outing that an NBA expansion team would cost between US$2 and US$3 billion.
The Thunder faced the Detroit Pistons in an NBA preseason game on October 12 at the Bell Center.
The Grizzlies played in Vancouver from 1995 to 2001, before moving to Memphis. Since then, the Raptors have been the only Canadian team in the NBA.