HoopsHype D-League rumors

September 16, 2014 Updates

The Timberwolves will have a new D League affiliate this season after having an arrangement with the Iowa Energy last season and the Sioux Falls Skyforce for the seven seasons before that. This year, they will send players to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in Indiana. That's right, the Mad Ants. And if... If the Fort Wayne team has room for that Wolves player or players. See, the Mad Ants are the only independent D League team left, that is the only one that doesn't have a single affiliatation agreement with a NBA team. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

September 15, 2014 Updates

The National Basketball Association and the NBA Development League, the official minor league of the NBA, today announced the full list of affiliations between NBA and NBA D-League teams for the 2014-15 season, including an all-time high 17 single-affiliation partnerships. The Detroit Pistons (Grand Rapids Drive), Memphis Grizzlies (Iowa Energy), New York Knicks (Westchester Knicks), Orlando Magic (Erie BayHawks), Phoenix Suns (Bakersfield Jam) and Utah Jazz (Idaho Stampede) all entered into single affiliation relationships with their NBA D-League affiliate during the offseason. Additionally, the NBA D-League has implemented a new flexible assignment system which will enable the 13 independent NBA teams to continue to assign players to the NBA D-League for development or rehabilitation. NBA.com

For the 10th consecutive season, each singly-affiliated NBA team will have one NBA D-League team to which it may assign its players. The Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the lone independent NBA D-League Team, will be affiliated with the remaining 13 NBA teams (Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Bobcats, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards). To accommodate assignments to Fort Wayne, a flexible assignment system will be utilized when an independent NBA team assigns a player at a time when the Mad Ants already have either the maximum of four NBA players on assignment or two assigned players at the position of the NBA player who is being assigned. In either event, the NBA D-League will identify to the assigning NBA team any singly-affiliated NBA D-League team that is willing to accept the assigned player, and the independent NBA team assigning the player will choose a team from among those teams to assign the player. If no singly-affiliated NBA D-League team is willing to accept the assigned player, he will be assigned to one of the non-NBA-owned single affiliate teams pursuant to a lottery. NBA.com

September 11, 2014 Updates
September 10, 2014 Updates

Smith was named coach of the Drive last week in what was a Detroit-Grand Rapids game of match the personnel with the title. Smith, formerly the general manager of the Magic, will take on his first professional coaching job, and it will be under Van Gundy, who was a coach and under Smith in Orlando before he was named the president and head coach of the Pistons in May. Adding to the twist, Smith also interviewed to be general manager of the Pistons, a position Van Gundy eventually gave to another long-time associate Jeff Bower. That makes an interesting mix of 50-somethings. But not strange bedfellows, the three said. “I think Otis’ interest in being the (Pistons) GM was more because of me and how he could help me,” Van Gundy said. “He was much more enthusiastic about this opportunity than he would have been to be the GM. People look at that and say, you’re crazy. But I think this is more of Otis’ passion. It’s always been working and developing players for him and that fits perfectly with what we want to do (in Grand Rapids).” Booth Newspapers

Bower, 53, adds another element. He was a coach last season at Marist before named in early June the Pistons GM. A former assistant general manager with the New Orleans Hornets, Bower said he has known Smith for years, through his association with Van Gundy, and did not consider his hiring a threat. “When Stan talked to me, I thought he was the perfect guy because he embodies everything that the developmental league is all about,” Bower said. “He’s great for this. It (the NBA-D League) is about getting the best out of guys.” Booth Newspapers

September 9, 2014 Updates

A source tells DLeagueDigest.com that the NBA D-League will indeed increase the number of Affiliate Players from three to four after the proposed rule was voted in favor of by the owners. In short, the old Affiliate Players rule allowed NBA teams to select up to three players to be deemed Affiliate Players after participating in training camp. The new rule will allow that number to increase to four players, in which one of the four Affiliate Players can be an in-season Affiliate Player. Basically, one of the four players can be added to the NBA D-League team’s roster during the regular season granted that player participated in training camp with their NBA affiliate team, and made the opening day roster. D-League Digest

September 8, 2014 Updates
September 3, 2014 Updates

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the club is appointing Otis Smith as head coach of its NBA Development League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive. Per team policy, terms of the deal which is pending NBA approval, were not disclosed. “I’m pleased to welcome Otis Smith to the Detroit Pistons organization as the head coach of the Grand Rapids Drive,” said Van Gundy. “Otis understands the vision and connectivity we want to create between the Detroit Pistons and the Grand Rapids Drive, our NBA D-League affiliate. His experiences as a general manager, director of player development and NBA player will pay dividends as he spearheads our efforts in Grand Rapids.” NBA.com

September 2, 2014 Updates
September 1, 2014 Updates
August 30, 2014 Updates

The Wizards have a new NBA D-League home: Fort Wayne, Ind. A person with knowledge of the situation confirmed the NBA will assign the Fort Wayne Mad Ants as Washington’s D-League affiliate. The move was necessary because the Memphis Grizzlies and the Iowa Energy — the Wizards’ affiliate the previous three seasons — entered a single-affiliation partnership in May. The Energy — based in Des Moines — served as the minor-league partner for the Wizards, Pelicans, Nuggets and Timberwolves last season. Fort Wayne is the only D-League club remaining of the 18 without some form of single-affiliation partnership with an NBA club. The Wizards are one of 13 remaining NBA franchises without an exclusive D-League partnership. Washington Post

The Wizards have a new D-League affiliate in the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Mad Ants, CSNwashington.com has confirmed through a person with knowledge of the situation at the league office Friday. CSNWashington.com

August 29, 2014 Updates

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.