Paolo Banchero Believes The NBA Putting A Team In Seattle ‘Should Be Mandatory’

The NBA has not had a team in Seattle since 2008. At the conclusion of the 2007-08 campaign, the Seattle SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City in a highly-criticized move, and ever since, there’s been a groundswell of support for the NBA to make its return to the city.

Seattle has a very proud basketball culture even beyond the Sonics, as the Storm are one of the best organizations in the WNBA and the city has produced a number of prominent hoopers. This includes Paolo Banchero, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft who will start his career as a member of the Orlando Magic.

Banchero appeared on the latest episode of Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson’s “All The Smoke” podcast. At the 9:37 mark of the below video, Barnes asked Bancheo about whether he views it as important that the NBA makes its return to Seattle. Unsurprisingly, Banchero has some pretty strong thoughts on the matter.

“I think it needs to happen, I think it should be mandatory,” Banchero said. “Not just because I’m biased, but because it’d be a great look on the NBA. It’s a great city, the fans there are crazy. If you get a team in Seattle, they’ll automatically be a top … not the top, but a top fanbase. Those games would be sold out right away.”

Banchero mentioned that he was young when the Sonics moved, but recalled watching players like Chris Wilcox, Earl Watson, and Kevin Durant play in Seattle while he was growing up, in large part because of his mother’s career as both a basketball player and coach at Holy Names Academy.