Philadelphia 76ers buying a D-League team
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
The Philadelphia 76ers have purchased a D-League franchise, and the team will begin play next season in nearby Delaware, a person familiar with move told USA TODAY Sports.
The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly until the news was officially announced.
The 76ers have a news conference scheduled for 2 p.m. ET Saturday at the Bob Carpenter Center on the University of Delaware’s campus in Newark, where the team will play. Philadelphia is 45 miles northeast of Newark.
Sixers managing owner Josh Harris, CEO Adam Aron, D-League president Dan Reed, University of Delaware president Patrick Harker, Delaware governor Jack Markell and Delaware’s U.S. senators, Tom Carper and Chris Coons, are scheduled to attend the news conference.
The Sixers have been interested in their own D-League affiliate since Harris purchased the team just before the start of 2011-12 season.
In recent years, the NBA has made the D-League a priority and several teams have made a commitment to fully utilize D-League affiliates, especially for young players or players working their way back from an injury.
Under the rules of the NBA’s 2011 collective bargaining agreement, there is no limit of the number of times a player with two years or less experience can be assigned to the D-League. Several teams, including the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, have taken advantage of this, sending young player to the D-League for game experience.
Earlier this season, New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire practiced with the Erie Bayhawks.
This season, 31 players were called up from D-League teams 36 times and 58 players were assigned to D-League teams 184 times.