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Chicago Bulls Announce Plans To Own and Operate NBA D-League Team

The Bulls' minor league affiliate will debut in the 2016-17 season.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, the Chicago Bulls and the NBA D-League jointly announced the NBA organization's plans to own and operate an exclusive minor league affiliate, beginning next season, in 2016-17.

"It's an exciting time for the NBA D-League as we announce the league's record 22nd team," said Malcolm Turner, NBA D-League President. "The NBA D-League is experiencing an exciting period of tremendous growth as we answer the growing development needs of NBA teams. I couldn't be prouder to welcome the Bulls into the NBA D-League family of owners and look forward to sitting alongside the great basketball fans in Illinois to watch this new team compete."

"Establishing an expansion NBA Development League franchise is a significant step forward for the organization," said Michael Reinsdorf, President and COO of the Chicago Bulls. "We continuously look for opportunities to promote the game of basketball, extend the reach of the Bulls brand and deepen our integration with our surrounding communities. There are so many great Chicago Bulls fans in the area, and we look forward to engaging in new ways with families, schools, nonprofit organizations and businesses in the Northwest Suburbs."

The minor league club will compete and play its home games at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

"We're extremely excited for the valuable investment the Bulls are making by owning and operating an NBA D-League franchise," said John Paxson, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Chicago Bulls. "While it will ingrain our brand more deeply in the surrounding communities, it will also strengthen our team on the court. Our younger players will have a place close to home to grow and mature while playing within a developmental platform that is consistent with Bulls basketball."

Fans now also have the opportunity to help name below. See below for the rules:

Beginning today through November 25, fans who are legal residents of Illinois and/or live within 75 miles of Chicago are invited to submit up to five name options. Each fan who submits their name suggestion(s) will receive a buy one get one free ticket offer to the team's 2016-17 inaugural season while supplies last. All team name suggestions must end in "Bulls". In early December, round two of "Name the Team" will begin when fans can vote for their favorite team name. BMO Harris Bank is the presenting partner of "Name the Team". To submit suggestions and for a list of terms and conditions, please visit www.bulls.com/dleague.