NBA commissioner Adam Silver says that the league is considering a Mexico G League team, which could help gauge the viability of a Mexico City NBA franchise.
On Thursday, the league announced that it will launch an NBA Academy in Mexico City. Down the road, the league could look to increase its presence in Mexico through an NBA Gatorade League (G League) franchise.
Silver confirmed that the NBA is looking into the cost of the idea, with the Mexico G League team potentially operated as part of a partnership with the league office. The plans have not been finalized to this point, and Silver indicated that the league would be willing to consider other Mexican cities as part of the process. Perhaps the biggest implication, however, is that the G League team would help the NBA evaluate the feasibility of eventually putting a team in Mexico City. More from the AP:
No plans are definite, and he said other Mexican cities could also be considered if the G League team does move south of the border.
“We have a preference for coming to Mexico City,” Silver said, “because as we look down the road, frankly to see whether there would be an opportunity to even dream about putting an NBA franchise here in Mexico City, we believe it makes sense as a first step to have a development league team here and to work out some of the issues to better understand what it would mean to have a team in Mexico.”
Silver added that the league was exploring the cost involved in a Mexican G League franchise.
The G League has been inching over the past few years toward having clubs for all 30 NBA teams, and a Mexico-based franchise is expected to serve, in essence, as a 31st entry. A total of 26 teams are participating in the G League’s 2017-18 season, and at least one expansion club–the Washington Wizards-owned Capital City Go-Go–has been confirmed for the 2018-19 campaign.