Updated May 4, 2020 - 1:47 pm
Rumors of an NBA team relocating to Las Vegas have been prevalent for a few years, and Hall of Famer and now analyst Shaquille O’Neal said on his podcast that it could happen sooner rather than later.
“I heard through the grapevine that there are a couple teams for sale and one may be going to Vegas,” O’Neal said on “The Big Podcast With Shaq.”
He didn’t specify which teams would be in the market, but the most commonly mentioned ones regarding relocation are the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies and Charlotte Hornets. Though there are no imminent signs of the Pelicans or Hornets changing addresses, Memphis owner Robert Pera looked into selling the Grizzlies in August, according to a tweet from former longtime team beat writer Ronald Tillery.
SOURCES: @RobertPera inquired about moving Griz last August.
— Ronald Tillery (@CAGrizBeat) March 27, 2020
Owners beyond those three teams might even be looking ahead at the financial effects of the coronavirus shutdown, and that could prompt someone to sell. Because the NBA is trying to figure out a way to salvage the rest of its season, it’s doubtful the league would allow any franchises to be sold until there is more clarity regarding its immediate future.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver told the Review-Journal in July that relocation wasn’t under consideration. But the NBA has had a long, successful run in Las Vegas with its Summer League, which has caused many in and around the league to speculate that moving a team here would make sense.
“While we, of course, don’t have an NBA team in Las Vegas, this seems like the next best thing,” Silver said at the time of the Summer League. “For roughly two weeks of the calendar in July, enormous attention is on the NBA.”