HoopsHype Dan Reed rumors
One day — he doesn't have the exact timeline — Reed envisions 30 push-pins: one D-League team for every NBA team. "One of the things we're very focused on is how do we meet that demand," Reed told USA TODAY Sports. "It's the ultimate good problem to have. I do think there will be eventually 30 teams. I do think every NBA team will have their own exclusive D-League affiliate. USA Today Sports
D-League President Dan Reed expects the number of singly-aligned relationships to grow. Of course, that requires adding more teams, and that’s not going to happen for the upcoming season, according to Reed. “We’re not expanding right now,” he said during a visit to Canton last weekend. “We’re very happy with our current footprint. We expect more NBA teams to get involved in the league, and that at some point it becomes imperative that we do expand as demand grows.” Canton Repository
The Houston Rockets became the first team to develop the hybrid model of D-League affiliation, in which they have a dedicated relationship with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Rockets GM Daryl Morey and his staff have total control of all basketball operations for the Vipers, but business-side operations remain the domain of the Rio Grande-based ownership of the Vipers. "You learn about players, learn about coaches and try new ideas," Morey says. "When we looked at the hybrid model, it gave you upside without any of the downside. The minor league team is way more knowledgeable about their market than we are." That trend will continue, especially given the cost-benefit ratio. When the Celtics announced a single-affiliate relationship with the Maine Red Claws this season, it was reported the overhead will cost Boston around $220,000, or about half the minimum salary of a second-round draft pick. "We have several other NBA teams interested," Reed says, referring to the trend towards single affiliation. ESPN.com
Reed thinks we're clearly headed toward a 30-team, 30-affiliate structure. However, he declined to place a timeline on that process and emphasized the D-League is focused on "steady, sustainable growth over time." So no, we won't see a 14-team expansion of the D-League next year. However, the "true minor league" Stern envisioned seems well underway. Says Respert: "We absolutely want to make sure that teams have an equal amount of resources to draw from and a factory to be able to produce the things that they need to ensure the success of their franchises." ESPN.com
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