*The talent-drain arguement has 3 weaknesses, IMO.
1. We are not talking next week. we are talking over next several years. Anyone brave enough to state that our current 10 to 16 year-olds will NOT be good enough to bolster those talented numbers by then?
2. Ignoring the fact that basketball is once again on the incline, numbers will naturally increase and with that, the number of talented players.
3. As our league grows and improves even further, and playing contracts catch up with Europe, more of our exports will stick around. Bring back half of our players in Europe currently and you've got the core of maybe 2 more NBL teams. Similarly with retiring NBA Aussies. Delly, Patty, Baynes, Jingles, following in Bogues footsteps. There's another couple of teams, if wanted, or stronger teams if not.
*On location aspects, my thoughts are:
That Perth are the number 1 option from the leagues point of view. Incredibly successful on and off the court in just about every dimension you care to consider. Their fan-base, if halved, would still represent a better than average sized club but no way would it be halved. Lets say that 90% stick with the 'Cats and 10% want to change club allegience for whatever reason. That's approx 1500 (I am guessing at 15,000 members, at least??) NBL-savvy fans and then the ones you would normally want to attract to your club a-la SEM in Melb. For their population base their support of sport, is second only to Melbourne, especially when at least one of the contestants are from the west. WA are represented and well supported in nearly every national league, mens and womens. And, although I am not knowledgeable about the WA state league comp, NBL1 West, I believe that they pay their players well which should mean a decent (at least) standard for their 2nd league. Perth fans, in general, should learn to love the cross-city rivalry.
I really don't see Perth Wildcats being over the moon with the prospect. If it was to happen, it would undoubtedly have a somewhat negative effect on them.
Wellington and Newcastle would share my 2nd & 3rd choices(order?). Wellington for mostly the same reasoning as Perth (Fremantle, in fact) but to lesser extent. Newcastle cos it seems to be very active in their local scene. It seems that they want it, and that has to be big deal, are already upping their facilities and seem to be spruiking a bit about it.
Canberra, Townsville, Gold Coast already had a chance or 2 already and shown not up to it then, why would they now? Have things changed? My inclusion of Newcastle, who have also had a go before, HAS seen changes (as stated).