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Memphis Grizzlies to own expansion D-League team

The team will play in Southhaven, Mississippi, per team report

NBA: Orlando Magic at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

More basketball in a city that has an intense love for the game is a good idea.

The Memphis Grizzlies announced today that they have acquired a D-League expansion team that will operate out of Southhaven, Mississippi, a mere 20 miles from Memphis. The Grizzlies will make a formal announcement tomorrow at FedExForum.

The Southhaven team will play their games at the Landers Center, according to Grind City Media’s Mike Wallace. The current Grizzlies front office staff with the Energy at the moment- General Manager Chris Makris and Head Coach Glynn Cyprien- will remain with Memphis. This move means the end at the end of the season of the Grizzlies relationship with the Iowa Energy, who will become the single D-League affiliate of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Iowa and the Energy have seen several Grizzlies, including Andrew Harrison and Jordan Adams, pass through their doors, and currently three Grizzlies are in Iowa getting game minutes- Troy Williams, Wade Baldwin IV, and Jarell Martin.

This move is a win-win all around. The Mid-South adds another revenue-generating (hopefully) professional sports team, the Grizzlies get access to talent faster and can have a more direct hand in the development of players, and the Iowa Energy gets a team managing them that can be a closer geographical match.

Whether it be via experimentation with lineups and scheme or simply bringing along young talent, the Memphis Grizzlies have both extended their geographic footprint in to Mississippi and invested in both the area where they work and in their future as a franchise.

For fans of basketball in Memphis, today was a good day. Read the full Grind City Media article on the move here. It includes quotes from Harrison, a D-League product, and John Hollinger of the Grizzlies

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