D-League
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D-League
NBA G League
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event2017-18 NBA G League season
NBA G League logo.svg
Sport Basketball
Founded 2001
Inaugural season 2001-02
President Malcolm Turner
No. of teams 26 (27 in 2018-19)
Country United States
Canada
Continent FIBA Americas (Americas)
Most recent
champion(s)
Raptors 905 (1st title)
Most titles Rio Grande Valley Vipers
Santa Cruz Warriors
Oklahoma City Blue
(2 titles each)
TV partner(s)
Official website GLeague.NBA.com

The NBA G League is the National Basketball Association's official minor league basketball organization. The league was known as the National Basketball Development League (NBDL) from 2001 to 2005, and the NBA Development League (NBA D-League) from 2005 until 2017.[1] The league started with eight teams until NBA commissioner David Stern announced a plan to expand the NBA D-League to fifteen teams and develop it into a true minor league farm system, with each NBA D-League team affiliated with one or more NBA teams in March 2005. At the conclusion of the 2013-14 NBA season, 33% of NBA players had spent time in the NBA D-League, up from 23% in 2011. As of the 2017-18 season, the league consists of 26 teams, all of which are either single-affiliated or owned by an NBA team.

For the 2017-18 season, the league rebranded to become the NBA G League as part of a multi-year partnership with Gatorade.[2][1]

History

National Basketball Development League (2001-2005)

The league began its play as the National Basketball Development League (NBDL) in the 2001-02 season; the original eight franchises[1][3] were all located in the southeastern United States (specifically in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia).

NBA Development League (2005-2017)

In 2005, the league's name was changed to NBA Development League (NBA D-League)[1] as part of the new collective bargaining agreement with the NBA and a bid to appeal to more fans by showing their connection to the major league.[4] In the same offseason, Southwest Basketball, LLC lead by David Kahn was granted permission by the league to operate four new teams.[5] Southwest Basketball then purchased three existing franchises and one expansion team: the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, Austin Toros, Fort Worth Flyers[6] and the Tulsa 66ers.[7] The Arkansas RimRockers were also added from the ABA for the 2005-06 season. In February 2006, the D-League expanded to California for the first time with the addition of the Bakersfield Jam. Two months later, the league announced that four teams from the Continental Basketball Association were joining the league: the Dakota Wizards, Sioux Falls Skyforce, Idaho Stampede, and a team originally slated for CBA expansion, the Colorado 14ers.[8] Shortly after, the league announced expansion teams in the Anaheim Arsenal[9] and the Los Angeles D-Fenders. The D-Fenders became the first D-League team to be directly owned by an NBA parent team, the Los Angeles Lakers.[10]

However, the westward expansion contributed to the contraction of the NBA-owned Roanoke Dazzle[11] and Fayetteville Patriots for that season.[12] The Florida Flame suspended operations due to arena scheduling difficulties.[13] After the 2006-07 season, there would be no more teams in the southeastern United States until the 2016 expansion team, the Greensboro Swarm.

After the 2006 to 2009 expansions, the league membership was fairly consistent with only a few relocations and suspensions. In 2009, the Houston Rockets entered into the first single-affiliation partnership, called the hybrid model, with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. This began a wave of NBA and D-League teams entering into single-affiliation agreements of both the hybrid and parent-team owned varieties. With more NBA involvement, the league once again began to expand and spread its footprint.

By 2015, the last multiple-affiliate team, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, was purchased by the Indiana Pacers leading to the first season where all D-League teams were affiliated with only one NBA team. As there were no longer any unaffiliated D-League teams left, the remaining NBA teams began purchasing expansion franchises or hybrid partnership teams and placing them near the parent team. In 2015, the Toronto Raptors placed their own team, Raptors 905, in the Greater Toronto Area in Mississauga, Ontario.[14][15] In 2016, the D-League expanded by three more NBA parent club-owned teams for the largest D-League expansion since 2007. The Charlotte Hornets created the Greensboro Swarm, the Brooklyn Nets created the Long Island Nets, and the Chicago Bulls created the Windy City Bulls.

NBA G League (2017-present)

Alternate Logo

In the 2017-18 season, the D-League entered into a multi-year partnership with Gatorade and announced it would be rebranded as the NBA Gatorade League.[2][3] When the league completed the change over to the new branding, it had changed to referring to itself as simply the "NBA G League".[16][17] It also continued its membership changes with the relocation of the Erie BayHawks to Lakeland, Florida, as the Lakeland Magic, a new Erie BayHawks franchise; and expansions in the Agua Caliente Clippers in Ontario, California; the Memphis Hustle in Southaven, Mississippi; and the Wisconsin Herd in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The Los Angeles D-Fenders would also re-brand to the South Bay Lakers to reflect the league name change.

Teams

Current teams

Eastern Conference
Division Team City Arena Capacity Founded Joined Head coach NBA affiliate Ownership
Atlantic Long Island Nets Uniondale, New York Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum 13,500 2016 Ronald Nored Brooklyn Nets Parent club
Maine Red Claws Portland, Maine Portland Exposition Building 3,100 2009 Brandon Bailey Boston Celtics Hybrid
Raptors 905 Mississauga, Ontario Hershey Centre 5,000 2015 Jerry Stackhouse Toronto Raptors[15] Parent club
Westchester Knicks White Plains, New York Westchester County Center 5,000 2014 Mike Miller New York Knicks Parent club
Central Canton Charge Canton, Ohio Canton Memorial Civic Center 5,200 2001[a] Nate Reinking Cleveland Cavaliers Parent club
Fort Wayne Mad Ants Fort Wayne, Indiana Allen County War Memorial Coliseum 13,000 2007 Steve Gansey Indiana Pacers Parent club
Grand Rapids Drive Walker, Michigan DeltaPlex Arena 4,500 2006[b] Rob Werdann Detroit Pistons Hybrid
Windy City Bulls Hoffman Estates, Illinois Sears Centre 10,000 2016 Charlie Henry Chicago Bulls Parent club
Wisconsin Herd Oshkosh, Wisconsin Menominee Nation Arena 3,500 2017 Jordan Brady Milwaukee Bucks Parent club
Southeast Delaware 87ers Newark, Delaware Bob Carpenter Center 5,100 2007[c] Eugene Burroughs Philadelphia 76ers Parent club
Erie BayHawks Erie, Pennsylvania Erie Insurance Arena 6,750 2017[d] Josh Longstaff Atlanta Hawks[18] Parent club
Greensboro Swarm Greensboro Coliseum Fieldhouse 2,500 2016 Noel Gillespie Charlotte Hornets Parent club
Lakeland Magic[d] Lakeland, Florida RP Funding Center 8,178 2008 2017 Stan Heath Orlando Magic Parent club
Western Conference
Division Team City Arena Capacity Founded Joined Head coach NBA affiliate Ownership
Midwest Iowa Wolves Des Moines, Iowa Wells Fargo Arena 16,110 2007 Scott Roth Minnesota Timberwolves Parent club
Memphis Hustle Southaven, Mississippi Landers Center 8,362 2017 Glynn Cyprien Memphis Grizzlies Parent club
Oklahoma City Blue Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Cox Convention Center 13,846 2001[e] Mark Daigneault Oklahoma City Thunder Parent club
Sioux Falls Skyforce Sioux Falls, South Dakota Sanford Pentagon 3,250 1989[f] 2006 Nevada Smith Miami Heat Parent club
Southwest Austin Spurs Cedar Park, Texas H-E-B Center at Cedar Park 7,200 2001[g] Blake Ahearn San Antonio Spurs Parent club
Rio Grande Valley Vipers Hidalgo, Texas State Farm Arena 5,500 2007 Matt Brase Houston Rockets Hybrid
Salt Lake City Stars Taylorsville, Utah Lifetime Activities Center-Bruin Arena 5,000 1997[h] 2006 Martin Schiller Utah Jazz[19] Parent club
Texas Legends Frisco, Texas Dr Pepper Arena 4,500 2006[i] Bob MacKinnon Jr. Dallas Mavericks Hybrid
Pacific Agua Caliente Clippers Ontario, California Citizens Business Bank Arena 10,832 2017 Casey Hill Los Angeles Clippers Parent club
Northern Arizona Suns Prescott Valley, Arizona Prescott Valley Event Center 5,100 2006[j] Cody Toppert Phoenix Suns[20] Parent club
Reno Bighorns Reno, Nevada Reno Events Center 7,000 2008 Darrick Martin Sacramento Kings Parent club
Santa Cruz Warriors Santa Cruz, California Kaiser Permanente Arena 2,505 1995[k] 2006 Aaron Miles Golden State Warriors Parent club
South Bay Lakers El Segundo, California UCLA Health Training Center 750 2006[l] Coby Karl Los Angeles Lakers Parent club
Announced future teams
Team City Arena Capacity Founded Joining Head coach NBA affiliate Ownership
Capital City Go-Go Washington, D.C. St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena 4,200[21] 2018 TBA Washington Wizards Parent club
College Park[d] College Park, Georgia Georgia International Convention Center 3,500 2017[d] 2019 TBA Atlanta Hawks Parent club
  1. ^ As the Huntsville Flight.
  2. ^ As the Anaheim Arsenal.
  3. ^ As the Utah Flash.
  4. ^ a b c d The original Erie BayHawks, at the time an affiliate of the Orlando Magic, were fully purchased and moved to Lakeland as the Lakeland Magic starting with the 2017 season. However, the Atlanta Hawks began operating their new development franchise in Erie, intending to move it to College Park, Georgia, once a new arena at Georgia International Convention Center is completed.
  5. ^ As the Asheville Altitude.
  6. ^ Played in the Continental Basketball Association and the International Basketball League (1999-2001) before joining the NBA D-League in 2006.
  7. ^ As the Columbus Riverdragons.
  8. ^ Played as the Idaho Stampede in the Continental Basketball Association before joining the NBA D-League in 2006.
  9. ^ As the Colorado 14ers.
  10. ^ As the Bakersfield Jam.
  11. ^ As the Dakota Wizards; Played in the International Basketball Association and the Continental Basketball Association before joining the NBA D-League in 2006.
  12. ^ As the Los Angeles D-Fenders; did not field a team for the 2010-11 season.

Team ownership and NBA affiliations

Ownership models vary across the NBA G League. Growing willingness among NBA organizations to invest in the G League has led to two main models: direct ownership of G League teams by parent NBA clubs and single-affiliate partnerships in which the G League team remains independently owned while the parent club runs and finances basketball operations.

Parent club direct ownership began in 2006 when the Los Angeles Lakers bought their own NBA D-League franchise, originally known as the Los Angeles D-Fenders and since 2017-18 as the South Bay Lakers, followed by the San Antonio Spurs purchasing the Austin Toros in 2007 and the Oklahoma City Thunder purchasing the Tulsa 66ers in 2008. This led to more NBA teams to either purchase existing franchises or create expansion teams in order to have their own single-affiliation teams. In 2011, the Cleveland Cavaliers purchased the New Mexico Thunderbirds to become the Canton Charge and the Golden State Warriors purchased the Dakota Wizards. In 2013, the Philadelphia 76ers purchased the inactive Utah Flash and moved them to Newark, Delaware, as the Delaware 87ers. In 2014, the New York Knicks became the seventh team to fully own and operate their own NBA D-League affiliate in the Westchester Knicks.[22] In 2015, the Toronto Raptors created their own expansion franchise, the Raptors 905. In 2017, the Timberwolves purchased the Iowa Energy and renamed the team the Iowa Wolves.[23]

In 2009, the Houston Rockets and Rio Grande Valley Vipers pioneered the single-affiliate partnership, also known as the hybrid model. In November 2010, the New Jersey Nets and Springfield Armor announced they would enter into a single-affiliate partnership that began in 2011-12. In June 2011, the New York Knicks and Erie BayHawks announced they would be singly-affiliated. In May 2012, the Portland Trail Blazers entered into a single-affiliation partnership with the Idaho Stampede. The following month, the Boston Celtics and Maine Red Claws announced a single-affiliation partnership. In June 2013, the Miami Heat announced that they had entered into a single-affiliated partnership with the Sioux Falls Skyforce. In July 2013, the Sacramento Kings and Reno Bighorns entered into a single-affiliation. The Stampede ended their affiliation with the Trail Blazers after the 2013-14 season and in June 2014 announced their affiliation with the Utah Jazz. The Armor moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, after the 2013-14 season and affiliated with the Detroit Pistons. From 2014 to 2017, the Memphis Grizzlies had a single-affiliation with the Iowa Energy. In 2015, the last multiple affiliate team, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, was purchased by the Indiana Pacers making the 2015-16 season the first with all teams having single-affiliations.

In some cases, the hybrid affiliation led to the parent team buying their affiliate's franchise outright. On March 24, 2015, the Utah Jazz purchased their affiliate, the Idaho Stampede, and after one more season in Boise relocated the team to Salt Lake City. On April 11, 2016, the Phoenix Suns purchased their affiliate, the Bakersfield Jam, and announced the immediate relocation of the team to Prescott Valley, Arizona, as the Northern Arizona Suns beginning with the 2016-17 season.[20] On October 20, 2016, the Sacramento Kings bought the majority ownership of their affiliate of the previous eight seasons, the Reno Bighorns.[24] On December 14, 2016, the Magic purchased their affiliate, the Erie BayHawks, with the intention to relocate the team to Lakeland, Florida, in 2017.[25] In 2017, the Miami Heat purchased the controlling interest in the Sioux Falls Skyforce after being its primary affiliate since 2013.

Parent club ownership: Agua Caliente Clippers (by the Los Angeles Clippers), Austin Spurs (by the San Antonio Spurs), Canton Charge (by the Cleveland Cavaliers), Delaware 87ers (by the Philadelphia 76ers), Erie BayHawks (by the Atlanta Hawks), Fort Wayne Mad Ants (by the Indiana Pacers), Greensboro Swarm (by the Charlotte Hornets), Iowa Wolves (by the Minnesota Timberwolves), Lakeland Magic (by the Orlando Magic), Long Island Nets (by the Brooklyn Nets), Memphis Hustle (by the Memphis Grizzlies), Northern Arizona Suns (by the Phoenix Suns), Oklahoma City Blue (by the Oklahoma City Thunder), Raptors 905 (by the Toronto Raptors), Reno Bighorns (by the Sacramento Kings), Salt Lake City Stars (by the Utah Jazz), Santa Cruz Warriors (by the Golden State Warriors), Sioux Falls Skyforce (with the Miami Heat), South Bay Lakers (by the Los Angeles Lakers), Westchester Knicks (by the New York Knicks), the Windy City Bulls (by the Chicago Bulls), and the Wisconsin Herd (by the Milwaukee Bucks).

Single affiliation/hybrid model: Grand Rapids Drive (with the Detroit Pistons), Maine Red Claws (with the Boston Celtics), Rio Grande Valley Vipers (with the Houston Rockets), and the Texas Legends (with the Dallas Mavericks).

NBA teams with announced future affiliation: Washington Wizards (with Capital City Go-Go by parent club ownership in 2018).

NBA teams without an exclusive affiliate: Denver Nuggets, New Orleans Pelicans, and Portland Trail Blazers.

Future expansion teams and locations

Expansion in the league was slow for the first years, but has rapidly increased since the movement towards single-affiliate teams has become the norm.

Confirmed expansion and relocations

On November 10, 2016, the Atlanta Hawks announced that they had bought and established a new D-League team that will play in a new arena in nearby College Park beginning with the 2019-20 season.[26] In the 2017-18 season, the Hawks' G League franchise began play as the Erie BayHawks, following the Magic's purchase of the original franchise, until the arena in College Park is completed.[27]

On September 17, 2015, Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said that the team's planned practice facility, to be located in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C., would be the full-time home of the WNBA's Washington Mystics. Leonsis also revealed at the time that there is a "serious discussion" about also having a D-League team play at the facility when it opens in 2018.[28] On June 21, 2017, Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld confirmed that the team had acquired the right to own and operate a G League team beginning with the 2018-19 season and that the team would play in the 4,200-seat facility.[29] On December 1, 2017, the team name was revealed as the Capital City Go-Go.

Expansion candidate locations

On October 12, 2015, it was announced that Omaha, Nebraska, was pursuing a D-League franchise. Gary Green, the owner of the Omaha Storm Chasers, said the NBA approved the idea of a franchise while also mentioning the Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets as possible affiliates. Green said, "We've had talks with the NBA and the guys in the D-League and they absolutely want to have a team in Omaha... We have a deal with the D-League in place, we just gotta find a franchise now." The potential home for an Omaha team could be CenturyLink Center Omaha, Ralston Arena, or Baxter Arena.[30][31]

On March 30, 2017, the New Orleans Pelicans announced their intentions to have an owned-and-operated development team by the 2018-19 season located in the Gulf South region.[32] The organization then announced they were looking at 11 different locations: Mobile in Alabama; Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, Shreveport, St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana; Gulfport-Biloxi and Jackson in Mississippi; and Pensacola, Florida.[33] The list was narrowed when the Pelicans' received six proposals their April 25 deadline: Baton Rouge, Jackson, Mobile, Pensacola, Shreveport, and St. Tammany Parish.[34] By August 2017, the only two cities still in contention were Pensacola and Shreveport.[35] On September 12, the city council in Shreveport unanimously voted against building a new arena for the G League.[36]

On December 7, 2017, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that he was looking into having an G League expansion team in Mexico City potentially as early 2018.[37] It would be the NBA's first official permanent team in Mexico to test the market after playing exposition games in the city.[38]

Defunct / relocated teams

Team City Year(s) Former NBA affiliates Notes
Albuquerque / New Mexico Thunderbirds Albuquerque, New Mexico 2005-2011 Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, New Orleans Hornets, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Seattle SuperSonics, Utah Jazz Became the Canton Charge
Anaheim Arsenal Anaheim, California 2006-2009 Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando Magic, Portland Trail Blazers Became the Springfield Armor
Arkansas RimRockers North Little Rock, Arkansas 2004-2007 Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors Suspended by owners
Asheville Altitude Asheville, North Carolina 2001-2005 None Became the Tulsa 66ers
Bakersfield Jam Bakersfield, California 2006-2016 Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz Became the Northern Arizona Suns
(North) Charleston Lowgators Charleston, South Carolina 2001-2004 None Became the Florida Flame
Colorado 14ers Broomfield, Colorado 2006-2009 Denver Nuggets, New Jersey Nets, Toronto Raptors Became the Texas Legends
Columbus Riverdragons Columbus, Georgia 2001-2005 None Became the Austin Toros
Dakota Wizards Bismarck, North Dakota 2006-2012 Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, Washington Wizards Became the Santa Cruz Warriors
Erie BayHawks Erie, Pennsylvania 2008-2017 Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors Became the Lakeland Magic
Fayetteville Patriots Fayetteville, North Carolina 2001-2006 Charlotte Bobcats, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks Folded by league
Florida Flame Fort Myers, Florida 2004-2006 Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic Folded by owners
Fort Worth Flyers Fort Worth, Texas 2005-2007 Charlotte Bobcats, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers Suspended by owners
Greenville Groove Greenville, South Carolina 2001-2003 None Folded by league
Huntsville Flight Huntsville, Alabama 2001-2005 None Became the Albuquerque Thunderbirds
Idaho Stampede Boise, Idaho 2006-2016 Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle SuperSonics, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz Became the Salt Lake City Stars
Mobile Revelers Mobile, Alabama 2001-2003 None Folded by league
Roanoke Dazzle Roanoke, Virginia 2001-2006 New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Wizards Folded by league
Springfield Armor Springfield, Massachusetts 2009-2014 New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers Became the Grand Rapids Drive
Tulsa 66ers Tulsa, Oklahoma 2005-2014 Oklahoma City Thunder, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks Became the Oklahoma City Blue
Utah Flash Orem, Utah 2007-2011 Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Utah Jazz Became the Delaware 87ers

Team timeline

Current teams in tan
Former teams or former names in blue
Announced future teams in green

Capital City Go-GoWisconsin HerdMemphis HustleCollege Park NBA Development League teamErie BayHawks (2017-)Agua Caliente ClippersWindy City BullsLong Island NetsGreensboro SwarmRaptors 905Westchester KnicksMaine Red ClawsReno BighornsLakeland MagicErie BayHawks (2008-2017)Delaware 87ersUtah FlashRio Grande Valley VipersIowa WolvesIowa EnergyFort Wayne Mad AntsSioux Falls SkyforceSalt Lake City StarsIdaho StampedeSanta Cruz WarriorsDakota WizardsTexas LegendsColorado 14ersNorthern Arizona SunsBakersfield JamSouth Bay LakersLos Angeles D-FendersGrand Rapids DriveSpringfield ArmorAnaheim ArsenalArkansas RimRockersFort Worth FlyersRoanoke DazzleMobile RevelersCanton ChargeNew Mexico ThunderbirdsHuntsville FlightGreenville GrooveFayetteville PatriotsAustin SpursAustin TorosColumbus RiverdragonsFlorida FlameNorth Charleston LowgatorsOklahoma City BlueTulsa 66ersAsheville Altitude

Player allocations

NBA G League players generally do not sign contracts with the individual teams, but with the league itself. G League team rosters consist of a total of 12 players, 10 (or fewer) being G League players and two (or more) NBA players. The rosters are made up in a number of ways: the previous years' players, players taken in the G League draft, allocation players (meaning players who are assigned to a team with which they have a local connection, such as a University of Texas player being assigned to the Austin Spurs) and NBA team assignments. Each team also has local tryouts, and one player from the tryouts is assigned to the team.

The minimum age to play in the G League is 18,[39] unlike the NBA which requires players to be 19 years old and one year out of high school in order to sign an NBA contract or be eligible for the draft. The tallest player ever to be assigned was Hasheem Thabeet at 7'3", the second player selected in the 2009 NBA draft. The tallest player to ever play in the G League was England's Paul Sturgess at 7'8", who played with the Texas Legends during the 2013-14 season.

Draft

The NBA G League Draft occurs each season and is the major source from which teams build their rosters. Team rosters are made up of returning players (players who were on the team during the previous season), players waived by an NBA team who are designated as an affiliate player to their respective G League affiliate, allocated players (players who have local significance), and drafted players. The 8 round draft utilizes a "serpentine" format, meaning the order alternates in each round; Team A who selected first in Round 1 will select last in Round 2, while Team B who selected last in Round 1 will get the first pick in Round 2. Round 3 was added in 2014,

The league holds an annual Player Invitational, where prospects hope to earn eligibility for the upcoming draft.[40]

Affiliate players

Players waived by an NBA team during training camp and up until the start of the regular season can be designated as affiliate players and allocated to the NBA team's G League affiliate. Each team is allowed four affiliate players. These are players that an NBA team is interested in developing in their own system. The affiliate players, however, still remain as free agents that any NBA team can sign.[41]

Assignment

Standard assignment

Each NBA team can assign two first-year or second-year players who are under a standard NBA contact to its affiliated G League team. If more than two NBA players are assigned to a team, the team must reduce the number of G League players to keep the total roster size to 12. An NBA player will continue to be paid his NBA salary and will continue to be included on his NBA team's roster on the inactive list while playing in the G League.[42]

NBA teams can call up players as many times as they choose, and there is no limit to the number of times an NBA player with three years or less experience can be assigned to the G League. Starting in 2011-12, veteran NBA players could be assigned with their consent.[43] The first example of such was with Yi Jianlian, who the Dallas Mavericks assigned to the Texas Legends for two games.

Two-way contract

The 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement for the NBA, which took effect with the 2017-18 season, included changes allowing each NBA team to sign two players to two-way contracts. These players will spend the majority of their time on a team's G League roster, but can freely move to their respective NBA team for up to 45 days in the regular season, as well as be a part of the team's roster before the start of the season (including NBA training camps) and after the conclusion of the G League's regular season (though they are not allowed to be on a team's playoff roster or play in a playoff game).[44] Only players with four or less years of NBA experience are eligible for two-way contracts.[45] Unlike other G League players, who can be called up by any NBA team, two-way players can only be called up by their contracted NBA team. Players under two-way contracts are not counted against the NBA team's regular roster limit, and can be assigned to a G League affiliate for development while also getting a larger salary whenever they are called up to the parent team. For teams that do not have a one-to-one affiliation with a G League team, a process similar to the "flexible assignment" rule is being used to determine the placement for their own two-way contracts in the G League until every team has their proper affiliation underway. In addition, salaries for two-way players are much higher than those for regular G League players. As of the 2017-18 season, G League players who are not on two-way contracts earn either $19,500 or $26,000 during the league's season.[1] By contrast, two-way players' salaries while in the G League, which are pro-rated according to the number of days the player is with his G League team, are based on an annual salary between $50,000 and $75,000,[46] and while these players are with their NBA team, they will earn a pro-rated portion of the NBA minimum rookie salary (which will be $815,615 in the 2017-18 season).[47]

Successful NBA call-ups

Many former NBA draftees, waived players and undrafted players have played in the NBA D-League. Bobby Simmons and Aaron Brooks are the only former D-League players to win an NBA end-of-season award; both won the Most Improved Player Award with Simmons getting it with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2004-05 and Brooks earning it with the Houston Rockets in 2009-10.[48][49]

In the 2008 NBA draft, the Idaho Stampede's Mike Taylor was drafted 55th by the Portland Trail Blazers. He became the first player from the NBA D-League to be drafted by an NBA team. He was subsequently traded and signed a rookie contract with the Los Angeles Clippers.[50] In the 2014 draft, two D-League players were selected for the first time: P. J. Hairston was drafted 26th (which was also the first time a D-League player was drafted in the first round in the NBA) and Thanasis Antetokounmpo was the 51st pick.

Other noteworthy D-League call-ups include Jeremy Lin, Hassan Whiteside, 2011 NBA champion J. J. Barea, 2014 NBA champion Danny Green, 2015 and 2017 NBA champion Shaun Livingston, and 2017 NBA champion Matt Barnes.[51][52]

Annual events

All-Star Game

The league held its first All-Star game February 17, 2007, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was part of the NBA All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas. As with the NBA's showcase game, a fan vote determined the starting lineup for each team. The East won, 114 to 100, with Pops Mensah-Bonsu named the game's MVP.[53]

The second annual All-Star game was held on February 16, 2008, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The Blue team beat the Red team, 117-99, and Jeremy Richardson was named the MVP. In addition to the NBA D-League All-Star Game, the league debuted its first Dream Factory Friday Night events, which modeled after the NBA All-Star Saturday Night events. The events consists of Three-Point Shootout (won by Adam Harrington), Slam Dunk Contest (won by Brent Petway) and game of H-O-R-S-E (won by Lance Allred).[54]

The 2009 D-League All-Star game was held on February 14, 2009, at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. The Red Team defeated the Blue Team, 113-103, and Blake Ahearn and Courtney Sims were named co-MVPs.[55] Along with the All-Star game, the NBA D-League ran their second annual Dream Factory Friday Night events. H-O-R-S-E was won by Will Conroy of the Albuquerque Thunderbirds. The Three-Point Shootout was won by Blake Ahearn of the Dakota Wizards, and the Slam Dunk Contest was won by James White of the Bakersfield Jam.[56]

The 2010 D-League All-Star game was held on February 13, 2010, at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas. The Western Conference team defeated the Eastern Conference Team, 98-81. Bakersfield Jam center Brian Butch, who scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, was named as the MVP of the game.[57] The NBA D-League also ran their third annual Dream Factory Friday Night events. The inaugural Shooting Stars Competition was won by a team of Pat Carroll, Trey Gilder and Carlos Powell. The Three-Point Shootout was won by Andre Ingram of the Utah Flash, and the Slam Dunk Contest was won by Dar Tucker of the Los Angeles D-Fenders.[58]

NBA G League Showcase

The league stages an annual NBA G League Showcase in which all of the league's teams play each other in a "carnival" format. The showcase was first played in 2005 was originally intended solely as a scouting event for NBA general managers and scouts, but has evolved into a fan-friendly four-day event in which each team plays two games apiece. Since the inception of the event in 2005, there have been 15 players called-up or recalled during or immediately following the Showcase. The showcase has been hosted in Columbus, Georgia (2005), Fayetteville, North Carolina (2006), Sioux Falls, South Dakota (2007), Boise, Idaho (2008), Orem, Utah (2009), Boise, Idaho (2010), South Padre Island, Texas (2011), Reno, Nevada in 2012 and 2013, Santa Cruz, California in 2015, and Mississauga, Ontario in 2017.

Honors

List of champions

Awards

See also

References

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  2. ^ a b "NBA Development League to Become NBA Gatorade League" (Press release). NBA Media Ventures, LLC. February 14, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Amick, Sam (February 14, 2017). "NBA Development League to become Gatorade League". USA Today. Retrieved 2017. 
  4. ^ "NBDL ADOPTS NEW NAME, LOGO, AND BALL". NBA.com. July 19, 2005. Archived from the original on September 7, 2012. Retrieved 2016. 
  5. ^ "Thunder moving 66ers from Tulsa to Oklahoma City". Tulsa World. July 19, 2014. Retrieved 2017. 
  6. ^ "NBADL homepage with relocation announcements". NBADL. August 1, 2005. Archived from the original on August 1, 2005. 
  7. ^ "Tulsa 66ers set for 9th season". Tulsa Today. November 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Four Teams Leaving CBA for NBA D-League". InsideHoops.com. April 6, 2006. Retrieved 2016. 
  9. ^ "NBA Development League Expands To Anaheim". NBA.com. April 11, 2006. Retrieved 2006. 
  10. ^ Sheridan, Chris (April 19, 2006). "NBA approves Lakers' ownership of D-League team". ESPN. Retrieved 2006. 
  11. ^ "D-League Will No Longer Operate Roanoke Dazzle". NBA.com. May 1, 2006. Retrieved 2006. 
  12. ^ "D-League Will No Longer Operate In Fayetteville". NBA.com. May 2, 2006. Retrieved 2006. 
  13. ^ "12 teams to comprise NBA Development League in 2007-08". oursportscentral.com. May 8, 2006. Retrieved 2006. 
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