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Cleveland Cavaliers Buy D-League Team From New Mexico, Move It To Canton

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been looking at buying an NBA Development League team ever since the D-League season ended. At a press conference Thursday morning, the team will announce that it has finally made a purchase.

The Cavaliers have bought the New Mexico Thunderbirds, a move that was first reported here at Ridiculous Upside on June 6, and will relocate the team to Canton, Ohio, according to the Erie Times-News' Duane Rankin.

Canton, best known as the site of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is located just 60 miles south of Cleveland and will have its new D-League team play at the 5,200 capacity Canton Memorial Civic Center according to the Canton Repository.

"What I'm really excited about is the formal and public link to the Cleveland Cavaliers," Canton City Service Director Warren Price told the Repository. "The link is professional to the NBA. It's that sort of relationship we haven't had in Canton since we had the Canton-Akron Indians, which served as a feeder team to the Cleveland Indians.

"I think it's a real exciting opportunity for Canton to have a professional basketball team with that link to the Cleveland Cavaliers."

The Cavaliers have been one of the few teams to closely watch the D-League over the past few seasons, even being instrumental in a lot of the Erie BayHawks transactions including the coaching staff, but found a need for a new D-League team when the New York Knicks decided to buy the basketball operations department of the BayHawks.