Typically, Ridiculous Upside isn't the spot to spread NBA rumors about, but there have been too many random text messages and phone calls coming into RU headquarters that it made sense to put together a quick little post to throw out what's being batted around.
Note that none of this is more than speculation, though speculation that's made its way to most corners of the burgeoning D-League grapevine, and therefore it made sense to get the ball rolling in a public forum. I mean, who wasn't looking for NBA rumors that could be related to the D-League(!)?
The most important news is that a couple of NBA teams are inching closer and closer to joining the hybrid arrangement that has worked so well between the Houston Rockets and Rio Grande Valley Vipers. League sources have indicated that both the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks have been proactive about buying into the NBA Development League this offseason.
The Cavs, which have been working rather closely with the nearby Erie BayHawks the past few seasons, are rumored to be in talks to buy the New Mexico Thunderbirds with plans to move them to a nearby location. Three separate sources have mentioned Youngstown, Ohio -- long a site the Cavs have been interested in -- with the ideal location the Cavs would like to have a team located.
The Knicks have all sorts of things flying about, but with last week's ousting of Donnie Walsh, all of those plans have probably been placed on hold until a new front office is in place (Mark Warkentien gets my recommendation if anyone cared). Duane Rankin mentioned that the Knicks were interested in Erie, and that seems to be true, but the ultimate plan seems to be for the Knicks to own and operate a team located in Harlem.
As far as other teams considering buying into the D-League, I've heard the Indiana Pacers (more here), Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards are said to at least be trying to figure out the logistics of buying into the D-League. There's also a chance, I'm hearing, that the Los Angeles Lakers re-join the foray after dismantling the D-Fenders for a season.
The Maine Red Claws coaching vacancy, which was opened up when Austin Ainge accepted a position in the Boston Celtics front office, is said to currently be between former Tennesse coach Bruce Pearl and current Tulsa 66ers assistant Dale Osborne.
Last but not least, the New Orleans Hornets held a free agent workout last week, similar to the one the Minnesota Timberwolves held at the same time. but unfortunately didn't release a list of prospects. Through many different sources, however, a partial list of invitees included Randolph Morris, Rodney Carney, Tweety Carter, Tasmin Mitchell, Darnell Lazare, Carlos Wheeler, Deon Thompson, Leo Lyons, Edgar Sosa and Kenny Hasbrouck.
This was your monthly D-League offseason update. Thanks for following along!