Add the Golden State Warriors to the growing list of teams that own and operate an NBA D-League affiliate. The team’s purchase of the Dakota Wizards makes them the fourth NBA team to own and operate its “minor league” team. They also join seven other teams in having one-to-one relationships with their affiliates.
“The Warriors have historically been ahead of the curve in utilizing the NBA D-League,” says NBA D-League President Dan Reed. “So it’s only natural that they become the latest team in a growing number of NBA teams to own and operate their NBA D-League affiliate.”
Last season the Warriors were affiliated with the Reno Bighorns along with the Kings, while Dakota was paired up with the Wizards and the Grizzlies.
Golden State rookie Jeremy Lin played parts of the season for the Warriors’ old affiliate, while Javaris Crittenton is arguably the biggest name on Dakota’s roster from last season.
The Warriors’ move signals the ongoing development of the NBA D-League, which is becoming more and more popular ever since its founding as a small league with East coast teams in 2001. The league’s growing relationship with the NBA should signal a more structured minor league process, set with players not yet ready to play full-time in the NBA.
And now, for teams like the Warriors, they have their own, more personal minor league team.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity to acquire an NBA D-League team and view it as a proactive decision,” says Warriors owner Joe Lacob. “The fact that we will now operate our own D-League team – complete with our coaches and organizational philosophy – will put us in a better position to evaluate and develop potential NBA players, including any of our first or second year players who may spend a stint in the D-League.”
Do you see every NBA franchise having their own D-League team at some point?
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