Las Vegas wants to add an NBA franchise to its sports portfolio.

Remember just a handful of years ago that the NFL, Major League Baseball, the NHL, and NBA were all scared of putting franchises in Las Vegas because of gambling? Wow, have things changed.

The NHL’s Golden Knights have been a huge hit in Sin City, already owning one of the best home-ice advantages in the league thanks to a rabid fan base. The Raiders weren’t able to play in front of fans in their first season in Las Vegas last year but have sold out every game for 2021.

Could the NBA be the next league to head to Sin City? Frankly, basketball might be the best fit of all the major U.S. pro leagues as Las Vegas already hosts the NBA Summer League and also has welcomed USA Basketball training and many college conference tournaments.

One sportsbook offers odds on potential nicknames for a Las Vegas NBA franchise.

Las Vegas Team Expansion As Soon As 2022?

To help recover financially from the pandemic, it is thought the NBA will expand from 30 to 32 teams at some point in the near future – maybe announcing it as soon as next summer, although the teams wouldn’t begin to play that quickly — and charge those expansion franchises somewhere in the ballpark of $2 billion just for the right to play. All the current franchises would get to split that money.

The NBA last expanded in 2004 when it returned to Charlotte. Players would flock to play in Vegas because of the weather, nightlife, and no state income taxes. There are plenty of billionaires in Las Vegas who would line up to own the team as well.

The betting favorites for a potential Las Vegas NBA nickname are the Outlaws and SuperSonics both at +400 – if Seattle also gets an expansion team, it surely would use SuperSonics as it did before the club left for Oklahoma City in 2008. The Outlaws would be a nice play off Raiders and there was an XFL team in the city with the Outlaws nickname.

Sin/Sinners, Vipers, and Spades are all +600 on this NBA prop. It’s probably unlikely that a team would be nicknamed Spades simply for betting reasons, and there also are some negative connotations with that nickname. The Las Vegas WNBA franchise is nicknamed Aces.

The other betting options are Vultures (+800), Jokers (+800), Bandits (+1000), Lions (+1400), Devils (+1400), Invaders (+1400) and Bighorns (+1600).

Most franchises these days want unique nicknames for marketing reasons so that would seem to rule out Devils (New Jersey’s NHL team) and Lions (Detroit’s NFL club). Bighorns refers to Bighorn Sheep, a prominent animal in the desert.

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virginia and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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