Photo courtesy Calvert Photography.
Score one for the NBA Development League as yet another NBA team has recognized the importance of buying into the D-League. The Idaho Stampede announced on Tuesday afternoon that they have entered into a "hybrid" agreement with the Portland Trail Blazers.
The difference of doing a hybrid agreement as opposed to outright buying a D-League team is that, under this agreement, the Blazers don't have to worry about anything on the business side of things. Instead of trying to sell tickets and market the team to the Boise community, Portland only has to be concerned with hiring a coaching staff (or retain Randy Livingston and Joel Abelson) and putting the best product possible on the floor.
"This investment in the development of our young players will pay dividends on the court and we're excited about working with the Stampede," Trail Blazers President Larry Miller said in a press release. "The hybrid partnership is closer in structure to minor league baseball with a parent club and affiliate relationship, so we feel this is an arrangement that will help us utilize the D-League system more effectively."
Considering Mike Born (one of the top people in the Blazers' front office) has extensive minor league experience, the Blazers should be able to hit the ground running in this partnership.