Los Angeles Clippers Should Be First NBA Team to Go If Contraction Becomes Reality

NBA teams may have fewer cities to travel to for road trips.

Commissioner David Stern is looking for ways to cut between $750 million and $800 million in the new collective bargaining agreement, and if the league can’t find ways to cut costs, it is keeping the option of team contraction open, CBS Sports reports.

Many teams have been less than profitable the past few seasons, so if contraction were to occur, they’d be the most likely candidates to get axed.

Small-market teams like the Milwaukee Bucks and Memphis Grizzlies are dead last in revenue and in team value, according to Forbes’ team valuation rankings

Milwaukee at least made it to the playoffs last season. Memphis struggled, ending the season in 10th place in the Western Conference.

And even though the Minnesota Timberwolves won only 14 games last season and are one of the most unprofitable teams in the league, their owner and chairman of the NBA’s board of directors, Glen Taylor, has been working on a new revenue-sharing plan as a part of the NBA’s labor negotiating committee.

While many Celtics fans wouldn’t mind saying goodbye to the Lakers, there’s no chance of that happening. The Lakers are the most profitable team in the league, worth $607 million in December 2009.

But there is another Los Angeles team that should go. The Clippers won 29 games last season, and with another NBA team already in the L.A. market, they’re heavily eclipsed by their championship-winning counterparts.

The Clippers have made the playoffs just four times since moving to L.A. in 1984, and have only made it past the first round once (a conference semifinals loss in 2006). They’re also 23rd in the league in revenue and team value.

The NBA likely would focus more on the financial aspect of teams rather than their records, but the Clippers are the worst of both worlds. If team contraction is how the NBA decides to save money, they should start in L.A.

Should the Clippers be the first NBA team contracted? Share your thoughts below.

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