This month, the Sioux Falls Skyforce owners reportedly declined an opportunity to sell their franchise. This was apparently because the to-be purchasing NBA squad was set to move the NBADL team closer to their home base.
Not wanting to move the team out of South Dakota, Skyforce owners kept their fan base and local community in mind. Thus, the said NBA team was out of luck there, but not totally down for the count.
And if first you don't succeed, try again. That's exactly what our friends at SB Nation's Liberty Ballers are reporting the 76ers are up to. It was revealed that Philadelphia was the NBA team in question looking to purchase a D-League squad. While they they won't be bringing the Skyforce to town, another team could be very well making a move...as well as an NBADL return, too.
LB is further reporting that the 76ers are in negotiations to purchase the currently suspended Utah Flash, a team that last participated in the minors during the 2010-11 campaign.
Over the past few seasons, NBA teams have began to embrace their respective D-League affiliates as true extensions of the franchise. Having a minor league squad to call their own gives NBA executives the opportunity not only to hone and develop a team's existing talent, but discover new talent as well.
In addition to providing young and raw prospects with a place to consistently hit the hardwood, other NBA talents may also be able to more frequently use the D-League to rehab back from long-term injuries. What's more, owning an NBADL teams also presents staffers with the task of filling out a full squad.
Even if there are some promising players that an NBA team is not completely sold on offering a contract to, perhaps the squad could sell these same prospects on the chance to strut their stuff in the minors. This would at least give that NBA team the chance to monitor their development more closely. Thus, perhaps they'd have inside info and be able to formally snatch that player up before anyone else.
Needless to say, the possibilities are endless. Owning a D-League squad should present a tremendous amount of value, as a major asset, to NBA squads. With more and more big league squads catching on to the direct affiliate trend, it's clear the 76ers understand the potential such an opportunity has.
Current 76ers' forward Dorell Wright, just happens to be an NBADL alum himself. After keeping an eye on his own respective NBA journey and now benefitting from the player he's become, perhaps Philadelphia hopes other prospects will also rise up to emerge as important contributors too.