NBA has long been open to ideas about expanding beyond the contiguous 48 States. Outside of Seattle, Canada is thought to be among the most viable places to expand.
An ownership group—including Kevin Gilmore and Geoff Molson of the Montreal Canadiens—met with Adam Silver in January to make it clear that Montreal is willing and able to host an NBA team. Gilmore worked closely with Silver during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
More from Le Journal de Montreal (roughly translated from French):
The meeting was held in January at the NBA offices in New York. It was the former Minister and Senator Michael Fortier, a lawyer and banker, and Kevin Gilmore, Executive Vice President of the Montreal Canadiens and right arm Geoff Molson who found themselves in the office of Mr. Silver.
Gilmore wanted to assure the Commissioner that the Canadiens would welcome a team in his building. Gilmore was the Chief Negotiator for the construction of the basketball arena for the Beijing Games. He worked closely with Adam Silver.
Michael Fortier confirmed the information collected in the last days. But he insisted once again that the Commissioner Adam Silver was clear: “There is no team available and no expansion for,” said Mr. Fortier.
“We are aware that this is only a first signal sent by Montrealers. But we must also understand that we must start somewhere. Mayor Denis Coderre is aware of these first steps and encourages us. The metropolitan Montreal is a market of more than three million inhabitants. I am convinced that Montreal can sustain a hockey team, a baseball team and a basketball team without harming other already installed, “added Mr. Fortier.