With the possibility of NBA expansion on the horizon, the Phoenix Suns would benefit from conference realignment that would come with expansion.
Ever since the Seattle Super Sonics relocated from the state of Washington to Oklahoma City and become the Thunder, the NBA has felt incomplete. It felt like there needed to be a team in Seattle and now there is a possibility of that again. In an interview with Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver believes that NBA expansion is unavoidable. With a new expansion team – or teams – it would bound to reason that the NBA would realign conferences and divisions. Conference realignment will only bring positives to the Phoenix Suns.
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Currently the Suns are in the Pacific Division with the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Clippers. However, if expansion does happen, then it might be good to change up some teams in divisions as well as inter-conference.
For arguments sake, let us say the NBA bring a team back to Seattle. The league would probably add a team in the east either by adding an existing team such as the Memphis Grizzlies or a completely new team.
In this scenario, the hypothetical new Western Conference divisions look like the following. The new Southwest Division would have the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, and the New Orleans Pelicans. The new Northwest Division would have the Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Seattle Super Sonics, Portland Trail Blazers, and Sacramento Kings. The Pacific Division would have Suns, Lakers, Clippers, Warriors, Denver Nuggets, and Utah Jazz.
Hypothetically the Suns would lose the Kings from the current format and gain two new rivals. The Jazz are closer than the Kings are to the Suns and the Nuggets are not further than the Kings. Currently by car the trip between Phoenix and Sacramento is almost 11 hours. However, the trip between Phoenix and Salt Lake City is a little over 10 hours. Sadly driving from Phoenix to Denver is close to 13 hours. Still, it would be a shame to split the Nuggets and the Jazz in a different divisions so they must be kept together in this new hypothetical situation.
In this proposed division the Phoenix Suns would not lose a lot with the Kings leaving and adding the Jazz as well as the Nuggets would make the Suns the center of the division. Overall it makes the Pacific even more competitive. It would give Suns fans more of a well-rounded travel experience. Conference realignment will keep fans excited for a change in conferences. The Suns could definitely benefit from the hypothetical conference realignment stated above.