A staple in the crowd at NBA Summer League has been NBA D-League President Dan Reed, and for good reason. Entering the NBA's mid-summer event, 125 players with NBADL experience were registered to take part in the festivities, and showcase their talents to NBA personnel and scouts.
In nearly every Summer League contest it seems like you can find a D-League connection of some sort, and Reed is more than happy to show his support by making the rounds between the two venues. Reed took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to visit with RidiculousUpside.com, and spoke in length about the future of the league, while also reflecting on the impact it's had thus far.
"The NBA Summer League is a critical step in the journey of players who will play, and have played in the NBA Development League. There's 125 players with NBA D-League experience here, but there's many more rookies who are going to spend time in the D-League this season. It's very gratifying for me to see so many of them here, and the success they're having. In many ways, NBA Summer League is sort of like a D-League reunion." Reed commented.
Reed continued, "And it's not just players, it's also coaches. You have many of the coaches here at Summer League who are former D-League coaches, and are rising stars in the NBA." This NBADL offseason has been full of coaching Call-Ups, as well as movement regarding team affiliates and their relationships with NBA parent clubs. The league is growing at a rapid rate, and Reed can't help but to recognize it.
"It's something that we're discussing now. We have the proverbial good problem right now. There's three independent teams for 16 NBA teams, and there's a lot more NBA teams that are interested in getting in. We're going to spend the summer working with our teams and NBA teams to develop a process going forward, but I imagine it will involve expansion at some point." Reed added.
On Monday, the NBA D-League announced the 2013-2014 team affiliations, and there's no mistaking the need for more NBADL teams to better service their NBA partners. The challenge for Reed and his staff will be on the execution of expanding the league.
"All things being equal, NBA teams would prefer to have their D-League teams nearby, but all things aren't always equal. It's a factor, but not THE factor. Ultimately, we want to make sure that we have strong ownership in a good market. Also, we want a suitable arena that would pair with a professional and knowledgeable staff." Reed said.
The single affiliation partnership which Sioux Falls and Miami agreed to this past offseason, is an example that proximity isn't the only factor going forward with 'One-to-One' setups. If the league wants to cater to every NBA team, and create a 30-to-30 landscape, scouting out new locations and markets for potential organizations will likely remain high on Reed's agenda moving forward.
Near NBA parent clubs or not, the NBADL needs more teams, and with President Reed acknowledging the idea of expansion during our conversation, the wheels seem to be in motion. Will your town or city be the next landing spot for a D-League franchise? Stay tuned.