Things just got real for the 11 NBA teams that have yet to secure their own NBA D-League affiliate. The Indiana Pacers are about to announce they have acquired the last remaining independent D-League team, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
Big announcement coming in a half hour! Head over to the Indiana Pacers website to watch live feed of announcement featuring Larry Bird.
— Fort Wayne Mad Ants (@TheMadAnts) September 9, 2015
Last season the Mad Ants were the only option left for the Hawks, Nets, Hornets, Bulls, Nuggets, Pacers, Clippers, Bucks, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Trail Blazers, Wizards and Raptors.
The Toronto Raptors purchased a non-D-League team in Mississauga, Canada and the Raptors 905 was created, but the process of acquiring a D-League affiliate took Toronto two summers to complete and it cost them big time when the Mad Ants had little reason or inclination to give Raptors rookie Bruno Caboclo any playing time or coaching when they sent him to Fort Wayne.
Affiliated D-League teams will have even less reason to to help out their rivals than the last remaining independent team did and there have been reports that several of the NBA franchises still without a D-League affiliate are working on getting one. From Wikipedia, the expansion is in the works.
the Charlotte Hornets were the first to announce that they plan on bringing an NBA D-League team to the Carolinas to start in the 2016-17 season
the Nets are” on the verge of reaching an agreement to have a D-League team again in the next couple of years.”
it is “critical” that Atlanta have its own D-League team in the near future.
New Orleans Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps said the team is looking into possibly owning their own D-League team in the next year or two.
It could be a comparatively rough couple of years for the rookies and sophomores on NBA teams that don’t have D-League affiliates if their own team doesn’t have playing time for them.