New System Could Send More NBA Players to Sioux Falls
There will be a day when every NBA team has its own minor league affiliate. Until that becomes reality, a contingency play for sharing is necessary.
Eighteen NBA Development League teams will suit up this season. All but one features a single team partnership with a parent club. For example, you recall the Sioux Falls Skyforce and Miami Heat have a one-to-one partnership.
The lone outlier would be the Fort Wayne Mad Ants who do not have any exclusive agreement with an NBA team. As a result, thirteen NBA teams are lumped together with only one team to utilize for assigning players. Contingency plan please!
Announced today from the D-League is the solution for NBA teams to assign players. If Fort Wayne is at maximum capacity for assignments (criteria for maximums to come later), opportunity opens up to the rest of the league to nab the assigned player.
Here is an example FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES ONLY. Nate Wolters, former South Dakota State standout and second year player has trouble recovering from hand surgery late last season. The Milwaukee Bucks could assign him to the D-League for a rehab assignment. However if Fort Wayne has two guards assigned from other NBA teams or a total of four assigned players at the time Milwaukee wants to make a move, the other teams could choose to enter a pool of clubs that would want to take Wolters for a stretch. In this hypothetical example, five teams make an offer. The Bucks would pick one of those five teams and send Wolters down.
In the event that no team would offer to take Wolters, one of the non-NBA owned teams (Bakersfield, Erie, Idaho, Iowa, Grand Rapids, Maine, Reno, Rio Grande Valley, Sioux Falls or Texas) would be assigned Wolters through a lottery process.
Could this actually happen? All signs point to yes as last year Fort Wayne did have four players assigned to the squad simultaneously with only six affiliate teams. That number of affiliates is double for this season.