The NBA lockout is set to end sometime this week if all goes according to plan when the i's are dotted and t's are crossed, meaning quite a few changes to the basketball world. Since this lovely website focuses on the NBA Development League, however, it seems pertinent to address what is in store for the next few weeks.
First, though, the reason the D-League world will be likely be turned upside down is so that NBA training camp rosters can be populated. There will be players that return from their contracts overseas and there were plenty of free agents still waiting for the right opportunity, but it's worth looking at what happened during the last lockout to really have an idea what we might be in store for prior to Dec. 9.
Looking back at the 1998-99 lockout, 176 players were signed to what basically amounted to training camp invites. That number isn't exact as there were probably a few players that were given guaranteed contracts that went unreported prior to the internet age exploding, but it's as close to exact as anyone has at this point.
Of those 176 players, though, 39 of them were playing in either the International Basketball Association or Continental Basketball Assocation at the time. Those two leagues previously populated the landscape that is now dominated by the D-League, though, meaning it is likely that each of the 16 teams will probably lose at least two players to NBA training camps.
Another interesting factor relating to the end of the lockout will be to see if any of the players currently sitting at home that might try and sign with the D-League to showcase that they are healthy and ready for a training camp opportunity. It doesn't seem like a likely option, but there are rumblings that a couple of players might do just that to prove themselves worthy of a quick camp invite.
Officials in the league aren't commenting on any changes until the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is officially ratified, I've been told, but there is apparently a contingency plan in place that will expand D-League roster from the current 10-man rosters to 12-man rosters throughout training camp. Whatever happens, though, should make for an interesting next few weeks in the D-League