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Sacramento Kings Enter Hybrid NBA D-League Affiliation With Reno Bighorns

The Sacramento Kings will enter into a single NBA D-League "hybrid" affiliation with the Reno Bighorns. More on what that means below.


The Sacramento Kings have agreed to enter into a single "hybrid" NBA D-League affiliation with the Reno Bighorns. As such, they'll take over basketball operations for the minor league club, whereas current organization ownership will continue to handle the business side of things.

Sacramento was one of three (along with the Grizzlies and Jazz) NBA team affiliates sharing the Bighorns just this past season. More below, from the NBA D-League:

The Sacramento Kings, the Reno Bighorns and the NBA Development League today announced that the Kings and Bighorns have entered into a single affiliation partnership beginning with the 2013-14 NBA D-League season. Sacramento becomes the record 14th NBA team to have a one-to-one affiliation with an NBA D-League team.

This partnership, also referred to as a "hybrid affiliation," is the seventh of its kind in the NBA D-League and allows the Kings to pay for and control the Bighorns' basketball operations, while existing local ownership in Reno maintains primary responsibility for the team's off-the-court business operations and community initiatives.

The announcement marks the third NBA team to enter into a single-affiliation relationship this offseason, with the
Miami Heat and Sioux Falls Skyforce entering into a "hybrid" affiliation and the Philadelphia 76ers purchasing the Delaware 87ers.

"This record 14th ‘one-to-one' affiliation demonstrates how important an exclusive NBA D-League affiliate has become in accelerating the development of young NBA players and coaches," said Dan Reed, NBA D-League President. "We're pleased to announce this partnership between Sacramento and Reno and are excited about its impact for both teams and the league."

The Kings and Bighorns have been affiliated since the 2008-09 season, Reno's inaugural campaign. Since then, the Kings have assigned
Donte Greene, Tyler Honeycutt and Hassan Whiteside to the Bighorns. During the 2012-13 season, Reno was also affiliated with the Memphis Grizzlies and Utah Jazz, and new affiliates for both teams will be announced later this summer.

As noted above, the Kings will enter into the fourteen "one-to-one" affiliation. It will also be the seventh of the hybrid type partnerships as well. With a very young and raw team, Sacramento's new management clearly understands the obvious benefits of operating their own minor league franchise.

That said, such a partnership makes both the Grizzlies and the Jazz the latest "victims" of being D-League team-less due to the latest formed single affiliations. Whereas some organizations certainly seem to value being able to utilize a minor league franchise less than others, Memphis is a team that appears to hold such advantage in high regard.

Players like Tony Wroten and Keyon Dooling (for rehab purposes) were both assigned to the Bighorns last season. What's more, Grizzlies' officials (perhaps most notably, John Hollinger) showed up at both the NBADL Showcase and the NBADL All-Star Game this past season.

What the Kings taking over in Reno means for a team like Memphis utilizing the minor league to the fullest remains to be seen. Still, with more and more NBA teams forming single-affiliations with D-League clubs, that leaves fewer to be shared amongst the big league teams that do not own or operate their own. The "left over" NBADL teams will likely have to be shared by up to four or five NBA teams.

For more on a potential predicament like that, go on and head over to my pal (and D-League broadcaster) Kevin Danna's Twitter account. He's been spitting hot fire on the issue for quite a while now.