Investing In The D-League: Changes Are Needed

Utah Jazz beat writer Ross Siler has long been one of my favoritess and not just because he's one of the few that has taken at least a passing interest in his team's D-League affiliate.  Yesterday, Siler suggested it might be time for the Jazz to look at buying the basketball operations of the Utah Flash:

Which raises the question of whether the Jazz will or should take the next step with the Flash. The Jazz have been an affiliate throughout the Flash's three-year existence, with the Flash running the Jazz's system and hiring former Jazz scout Brad Jones as coach. Morris Almond, Kyrylo Fesenko and Kosta Koufos all have played in Orem.

I think, right there, is why it doesn't really make sense for the Jazz to buy the Flash: The Flash already run the Jazz system, have a Jazz coach installed and the NBA club feels comfortable in assigning players to the D-League at will.

The biggest problem, as Siler points out, is that a single-affiliation can't get much better if those things are already in place:

Even though the Houston Rockets are running Rio Grande Valley, they can't keep other NBA teams from signing players off the Vipers' roster. But with the NBA obviously out to encourage as much investment and interest in the D-League as possible, there has been talk of change, though possibly not until the next collective bargaining agreement.

In my opinion, until those changes are made, the hybrid affilation simply isn't as beneficial as it sounds.  As luck would have it though, Siler has numerous suggestions/rumors that would improve the system (this means go read his column).  My favorite is after the jump.

There's also talk about allowing D-League teams to protect the rights of two or three players who took part in either summer league or went to training camp with one of their NBA affiliates. If he hadn't made the Jazz's roster, Wesley Matthews could have been steered to the Flash that way.

Since typically only the top three players on a D-League team are actually talented enough to play in the NBA, this would be about as ideal as it can get.  It would also keep a few more NBA-caliber players stateside, I'd assume, as they'd technically be property of an NBA team if they played in the D-League - meaning a call-up would be potentially be more likely.

Unless the Jazz are anti-Flash owner Brant Andersen, which is a possibility considering he seems to be the polar opposite of the typical way of Jazz thinking, it seems it'll take some sort of changes before they decide to invest in the hybrid system.

Other teams that could benefit? 

Are there any other teams you think this could benefit?

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