Sioux Falls Skyforce Seeking Hybrid Affiliation With NBA Team

NBA D-League

After watching one of their former affiliates, the 76ers, purchase their own NBADL squad, the Sioux Falls Skyforce are searching for a sole NBA team to enter in a hybrid affiliation with.

The 76ers made headlines last month by purchasing and forming their own D-League team, now known as the Delaware 87ers. In effect, such a purchase ended Philadelphia's relationship with the Sioux Falls Skyforce. The NBA squad was one of four to be affiliated with the minor league team last season.

Though the 76ers opted to cut ties with Sioux Falls, the departure still left the Skyforce affiliated with the Timberwolves, Heat, and Magic. That said, the organization is looking to make a change of their own.

According to reports, Sioux Falls' officials have reached out to three NBA teams regarding a potential hybrid affiliation come next season. Such a partnership would leave the current ownership/management in charge of all business-related decisions, but would also take the basketball side of things out of their hands. The NBA team would be in charge of building a roster, hiring coaches, etc.

Given the Timberwolves' close proximity, it makes sense that they stand tall as one of the three big league organizations Sioux Falls has reached out to. Though no official from the Skyforce has come out to confirm this, new Timberwolves President (and former Skyforce coach, to boot) Flip Saunders recently touched on the idea.

The other two teams the Skyforce have reached out to are unknown. Though the Heat aren't located too close, they did actively utilize the minor league team by assigning multiple players to Sioux Falls last season.

Last fall, Skyforce officials explored the idea of a similar affiliation, but reportedly rejected an offer due to the fact that they did not (and still do not) desire to locate. The arena and local facilities in Sioux Falls are being throughly included as a positive selling point to NBA teams.

As mentioned, coaching and/or related basketball operations positions would ultimately be filled according to the preferences of the NBA team in charge. Though head coach Joel Abelson appears to be safe at the moment (given that he's made multiple local radio appearances with his title), the rest of Sioux Falls' staff has been allowed to explore opportunities in the meantime while the situation sorts itself out.

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