Over the last few years, the NBA G League has seen some exceptional growth. Just over the last three years, the league has grown from having 18 squads in 2014-15 to now featuring 26 teams for the upcoming 2016-17 season. That growth will continue next year right in the nation’s capital as the Washington Wizards announced they will have a G League team for the start of the 2018-19 season. Although the team won’t play until next fall, their progress for their G-League team is shaping up well for a smooth inaugural season.
The new facility for the team will be located at the Ward 8 section of Southeast Washington. This will be home for the G-League team, the Mystics’ new arena, and the Wizard’s practice facility.
In an interview with Comcast SportsNet, owner Ted Leonsis discusses and explains the timeline for the project. "The big issue is will the building be ready. We built the team all during the lockout. That really worked. The goal was to get the Wizards practice facility and arena built in Ward 8," he said. "They've broken ground. You should drive by there one day. There's a hole in the ground and they're building. My goal is to just have the thing stood up and have people go 'wow.' The community can feel great about itself. Maybe we can get some restaurants around there or a little shopping so that that area really fast starts to resemble [Chinatown]."
The fact that the team will have a new facility to kick off their first season should attract fans, which builds ticket sales, which leads to great revenue. Wizards and Mystics generally have great attendance turnouts, so maybe the G-League will join the party.
Another huge game changer for the team is the implementation of the two way contracts with the players who will be playing in that league. They already have two two-way contracts given to Michael Young and Devin Robinson. For the last two NBA teams that don’t have a G-League affiliate, they can certainly follow this blueprint when they acquire a team.
The two way contracts are fairly new as it will be entering its second year for the 2018-2019 season. The system, will guarantee that players on the contract will spend most of their time in the G League while also having the opportunity to spend up to 45 days with their NBA affiliate
From the jump, the Wizards organization will have the privilege to kickstart this as a fresh team and hopefully if that works out, the G-league will really start to have an influence on the big brother in due time.