The National Basketball Association intends to put an N.B.A. G League franchise here in the Mexican capital, according to three people familiar with the league’s plans.
A team in the G League, N.B.A.’s official minor league, which would be owned and operated locally, could begin play as early as next season, according to the people, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the subject publicly.
Establishing a G League franchise on Mexican soil would be the latest serious step by the N.B.A. to gain a foothold in Mexico and gauge the viability of putting an N.B.A. team in the largest market in Latin America.
While stressing that his league is not actively pursuing expansion or relocation for any of its 30 current franchises, Commissioner Adam Silver has described Mexico City as a natural contender for an eventual N.B.A. team on numerous occasions this year.
The G League is set to have 27 franchises by next season; the goal is to eventually get 30 teams – one for each NBA franchise.
The Brooklyn Nets will play two “home games” in Mexico City this week: The first on Thursday vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the second on Saturday vs. the Miami Heat.