As expected, the NBA D-League will feature seventeen minor league teams that are exclusively entered into some sort of single affiliation with an NBA team next season.
That's been a given for quite a while now. The real question that has remained up until now has been this: what happens to the thirteen remaining NBA teams without a single minor league affiliate? With just one independently owned D-League team remaining (the defending champion Mad Ants), things could get a little crowded in Fort Wayne.
Well, have no fear; the NBA D-League is here to provide an answer to that very question.
On Monday, the league announced its new affiliation system for the 2014-15 season. In addition to lining up its expected NBA/D-League partnerships, the NBADL also outlined its plan for accommodating the thirteen remaining teams (as well as the Mad Ants, for that matter).
See below for more info from the league's press release:
The Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the lone independent NBA D-League Team, will be affiliated with the remaining 13 NBA teams. To accommodate assignments to Fort Wayne, a flexible assignment system will be utilized when an independent NBA team assigns a player at a time when the Mad Ants already have either the maximum of four NBA players on assignment or two assigned players at the position of the NBA player who is being assigned.
In either event, the NBA D-League will identify to the assigning NBA team any singly-affiliated NBA D-League team that is willing to accept the assigned player, and the independent NBA team assigning the player will choose a team from among those teams to assign the player. If no singly-affiliated NBA D-League team is willing to accept the assigned player, he will be assigned to one of the non-NBA-owned single affiliate teams pursuant to a lottery.
Needless to say, this appears to be an ambitious strategy. It'll be interesting to see The NBA D-League revealed its affiliation system for the 2014-15 season, with an ambitious strategy with regard to how they plan on accommodating the thirteen remaining NBA teams without a single affiliate.how things play out, and whether or not the league will have to resort to utilizing such a plan very often.