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Magic would like their own Florida-based D-League franchise

Aug 3, 2013, 8:00 PM EDT

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The D-League is gaining in popularity among NBA franchises, and more and more teams are looking to have one-on-one affiliations with one of the developmental franchises in order to stock a pipeline of talent that’s being brought up to speed with a specific level of instruction.

The problem, of course, is that while there are 30 NBA teams, there are only 17 in the D-League. Nevertheless, the Orlando Magic wish to make it known that when expansion does occur, they’d like to be among the first to lock up a Florida-based minor league squad.

From Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

The Magic want to have a “one-to-one” affiliation with an NBA Development League franchise that’s based within the Sunshine State. The Magic would like a “hybrid” agreement in which the Magic would run and pay for the D-League team’s basketball operations, while a separate ownership group would run the rest of the franchise.

Dan Reed, the D-League’s president, said D-League expansion is being discussed and will occur eventually.

“It will be carefully managed and hopefully an intelligent expansion process,” Reed told the Orlando Sentinel. “The long-run goal is 30 teams, where every NBA team has its own NBA D-League team. I can’t tell you exactly when that will happen, but I think we’ll get closer to that in the near future.”

There are two obvious obstacles in the way of full-fledged D-League expansion to the point where every team could be accommodated — the first is available talent, and the last is purely financial.

The quality of play drops dramatically once you get past a certain level of D-League players who have a legitimate shot of becoming NBA-ready. As for the dollars involved, not all NBA teams want to bother with a one-on-one affiliation, because any club can sign any player off of a D-League squad if they so choose, and all are not sold on the value of running a developmental franchise specifically geared towards creating players for a given team’s system.

As of right now, 14 NBA teams have that single affiliation relationship, while three D-League franchises are technically tied to the remaining 16 NBA teams. The Magic’s affiliation for next season will be the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, who also will support the Bobcats, Pistons, Grizzlies, Pacers, and Bucks — that, along with the more than 1,0000 miles that separate the two cities may explain why Orlando is so interested in pushing to get its own developmental squad at some point in the near future.

  1. jackntorres - Aug 3, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Ok but didn’t Howard demand a trade because, you know, they kinda were like a D-League team?

    • raidmagic - Aug 3, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      Yes the 4th winningest franchise in the last 10 years “were kinda like a D-league team”

      • anhdazman - Aug 4, 2013 at 6:03 AM

        How many Championships did Orlando win in the last 10 years? Championships baby, it’s all about the Championships.

        No one has ever cared about 2nd place.

      • schmeee - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:33 AM

        Hey anhdazman
        How many championships has Houston won in the last 10 years?

  2. adoombray - Aug 3, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    I don’t know if I agree with any kind of shortage of talent. The NBA starts 5 and dresses 13. Half of the guys in the second half of the FIRST ROUND don’t even make it into the league, yet March Madness is a massive tournament that makes the NCAA more money than all of its other endeavors combined. You have quality professional leagues in Turkey, Spain, Israel, Russia, China… really all over the world. Basketball is the one true international sport if don’t count Soccer and that’s a whole side argument. There are plenty of guys out there trying to ball there way to the pro’s and I think a healthy, robust D-League would be a 10X better investment than the WNBA…

  3. myeviltwinstwin - Aug 3, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    They have a D-League team. It’s called the Orlando Magic. What they need is a professional NBA team in Orlando.

  4. signguydino - Aug 4, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    Utah’s GM wants the Jazz to have a D-Leauge team of their own, too. Sharing with four to five teams is nutty.

    For this to work, however, you really need five or six teams in the southeast area to have their own D-League team. I have argued that Asheville, NC is perfect for the (soon-to-be) Charlotte Hornets’ D-League team. The Altitude never got their chance for the “three-peat,” it’s a 2 1/2 drive to Charlotte or a 45 minute flight, and it’s great marketing.

    Bottom line is this is coordination of five to six teams, but it won’t be too long where each NBA team has a D-League affiliate. Maybe two or three years from now the D-League returns to the southeast, much better prepared than their first, very rushed effort.

  5. grindhousegazette - Aug 4, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    I live in Memphis and I would love it if we could suddenly land an NFL and MLB team in the next few years. That would be awesome. Thanks.


  6. olsont7675 - Aug 4, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    1,0000 miles? That seems farther than 1,000 miles? I guess they should get a closer D-League team then.

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