There is a definite trend for NBA teams to develop single-team affiliations with a D-League team. Three such relationships have been announced this offseason. The latest one affects the Grizzlies.
Bye bye, Bighorns
The Reno Bighorns have entered into an exclusive affiliation relationship with the Sacramento Kings, making them no longer available as a landing spot or development tool for the Grizzlies.
That announcement came July 11th. I did a little research, and found this:
This is the third such single-affiliation relationship announcement this offseason. It is the fourteenth such single-affiliation relationship.
So, What Now?
The Grizzlies are expected to announce a new affiliation later in the offseason. But, the article characterizes the Grizzlies as "victims" of this trend, also stating that the trend leaves fewer D-League teams to be shared amongst the big league teams that do not own or operate their own. The "left over" NBADL teams will likely have to be shared by up to four or five NBA teams.
Hmmm… not good. Are the Grizzlies missing out here? Little Rock Rockers, anyone? Go Mad Ants?
What are your thoughts?
Is there a D-League team out there with whom the Grizzlies should be developing such a relationship? Would it matter what the location of the team is? Can a team be relocated closer to Memphis? Do there need to be more D-League teams?
Please feel free to provide information, comments and questions.