NBA G League

Last updated

NBA G League
Upcoming season or competition:
Sports current event.svg 2018–19 NBA G League season
NBA G League logo.svg
Sport Basketball
Founded2001
Inaugural season 2001–02
President Shareef Abdur-Rahim
No. of teams27 (28 in 2019)
CountryUnited States
Canada
Continent FIBA Americas (Americas)
Most recent
champion(s)
Rio Grande Valley Vipers (3rd title)
Most titles Rio Grande Valley Vipers (3 titles)
TV partner(s)
Official website GLeague.NBA.com

The NBA G League, or simply the G League, is the National Basketball Association's (NBA) 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 2018–19 season, the league consists of 27 teams, all of which are either single-affiliated or owned by an NBA team.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a men's professional basketball league in North America; composed of 30 teams. It is widely considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world. The NBA is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by FIBA as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. NBA players are the world's best paid athletes by average annual salary per player.

Basketball team sport played on a court with baskets on either end

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated.

David Stern former commissioner of the National Basketball Association

David Joel Stern is an American businessman and lawyer who served as the fourth commissioner of the National Basketball Association. He started with the Association in 1966 as an outside counsel, joined the NBA in 1978 as General Counsel, and became the league's Executive Vice President in 1980. He became Commissioner in 1984, succeeding Larry O'Brien. He is credited with increasing the popularity of the NBA in the 1990s and 2000s.

Contents

In the 2017–18 season, Gatorade became the title sponsor of the D-League, and it was renamed the NBA G League. [2] [1]

Gatorade manufacturer of sports-themed beverage and food products

The Gatorade Company, Inc. is an American manufacturer of sports-themed beverage and food products, built around its signature line of sports drinks. Gatorade is currently manufactured by PepsiCo and is distributed in over 80 countries. The beverage was first developed in 1965 by a team of researchers led by Robert Cade. It was originally made for the Gators at the University of Florida to replenish the carbohydrates that the school's student-athletes burned and the combination of water and electrolytes that they lost in sweat during rigorous sports activities.

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).

Southeastern United States Region

The Southeastern United States is broadly, the eastern portion of the Southern United States, and the southern portion of the Eastern United States. It comprises at least a core of states on the lower Atlantic seaboard and eastern Gulf Coast. Expansively, it includes everything south of the Mason-Dixon line, the Ohio River and the 36°30' parallel, and as far west as Arkansas and Louisiana. There is no official U.S. government definition of the region, though various agencies and departments use different definitions.

Virginia State of the United States of America

Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States located between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city, and Fairfax County is the most populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth's estimated population as of 2018 is over 8.5 million.

North Carolina State of the United States of America

North Carolina is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west, Virginia to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. North Carolina is the 28th-most extensive and the 9th-most populous of the U.S. states. The state is divided into 100 counties. The capital is Raleigh, which along with Durham and Chapel Hill is home to the largest research park in the United States. The most populous municipality is Charlotte, which is the second-largest banking center in the United States after New York City.

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 led 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]

David Kahn is an American sports executive, attorney, and former sportswriter. He is the former president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association.

Fort Worth Flyers sports team

The Fort Worth Flyers were a franchise of the NBA Development League minor league basketball based in Fort Worth, Texas. They began play in the 2005-06 season. The decision was made by the NBADL to not operate this team for the 2007-08 season.

Arkansas RimRockers former NBA Development League team

The Arkansas RimRockers were a minor league basketball team based in North Little Rock, Arkansas, which played in the American Basketball Association and the NBA Development League.

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.

Roanoke Dazzle basketball team

The Roanoke Dazzle were an NBA Development League team based in Roanoke, Virginia, U.S.. In operation from the inaugural D-League season of 2001–02 through the 2005–06 season, the Dazzle marked the return of professional basketball to Roanoke since the Virginia Squires called Roanoke home in the 1970s. Playing their home games at the Roanoke Civic Center, their logo design featured a star moving on rail tracks around a basketball.

Fayetteville Patriots NBA development league team

The Fayetteville Patriots were an NBA Development League team based in Fayetteville, North Carolina, United States. Its logo design features a bald eagle's head and a basketball in the middle of a capital letter "P" with stars and stripes filling the rest of it.

Florida Flame

The Florida Flame were an NBA Development League team based in Fort Myers, Florida.

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.

Houston Rockets American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas

The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. The Rockets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division. The team plays its home games at the Toyota Center, located in downtown Houston. The Rockets have won two NBA championships and four Western Conference titles. The team was established in 1967 as the San Diego Rockets, an expansion team originally based in San Diego. In 1971, the Rockets moved to Houston.

Rio Grande Valley Vipers American professional basketball team of the NBA G League

The Rio Grande Valley Vipers are an American professional basketball team of the NBA G League. They play their home games at the Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg, Texas. With three D-League titles in 2010, 2013, and 2019, the Vipers are the most successful team in the league.

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)

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] which was officially shortened to "NBA G League" prior to the season. [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.

In December 2017, the NBA and the live streaming website Twitch announced that they would broadcast G League games on Twitch.tv. [18] ESPN U, ESPNews, and ESPN2 also aired some 2017–18 regular season and playoff games.[ citation needed ] Games have also been aired on the ESPN Plus subscription service.

For the 2019–20 season, the G League will begin to offer Select Contracts to players that are not yet eligible to enter the NBA Draft. [19] Since 2006, players that are not at least 19-years-old by the end of the calendar year have been ineligible, creating what became known as the "one-and-done" rule where players joined a college basketball team for one season and then leave for the NBA. [20] The new Select Contract is to be an alternative for players who do not want to or cannot attend a college, worth up to $125,000 for a season. [21]

Teams

2018–19 teams

Upcoming teams

TeamCityArenaCapacityFoundedJoiningHead coachNBA affiliate
College Park Skyhawks College Park, Georgia Gateway Center 3,5002017 [lower-alpha 4] 2019TBA Atlanta Hawks
Erie BayHawks [lower-alpha 4] Erie, Pennsylvania Erie Insurance Arena 6,7502019 [lower-alpha 14] TBA New Orleans Pelicans
Birmingham Birmingham, Alabama Legacy Arena 17,6542019 [lower-alpha 14] 2022TBA New Orleans Pelicans
  1. As the Utah Flash.
  2. As the Huntsville Flight.
  3. As the Anaheim Arsenal.
  4. 1 2 3 4 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. A third franchise will begin using the BayHawks' name with a new franchise owned by the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019.
  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 Bakersfield Jam.
  8. As the Dakota Wizards; Played in the International Basketball Association and the Continental Basketball Association before joining the NBA D-League in 2006.
  9. As the Los Angeles D-Fenders; did not field a team for the 2010–11 season.
  10. As the Reno Bighorns.
  11. As the Columbus Riverdragons.
  12. Played as the Idaho Stampede in the Continental Basketball Association before joining the NBA D-League in 2006.
  13. As the Colorado 14ers.
  14. 1 2 The New Orleans Pelicans purchased an expansion team that will begin play as the Erie BayHawks beginning with the 2019–20 season before moving to Birmingham, Alabama, for the 2022–23 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 (now the Austin Spurs) in 2007 and the Oklahoma City Thunder purchasing the Tulsa 66ers (now the Oklahoma City Blue) 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, with the Warriors moving the Wizards a year later to become the Santa Cruz Warriors. In 2013, the Philadelphia 76ers purchased the inactive Utah Flash and moved them to Newark, Delaware as the Delaware 87ers (now the Delaware Blue Coats, and playing in that state's largest city of Wilmington). 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. [27] 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. [28]

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 (now the Stockton Kings) 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. [25] On October 20, 2016, the Sacramento Kings bought the majority ownership of their affiliate of the previous eight seasons, the Reno Bighorns, [29] and would eventually move the team to Stockton, California as the Stockton Kings after the 2017–18 G League season. [30] On December 14, 2016, the Magic purchased their affiliate, the Erie BayHawks, with the intention to relocate the team to Lakeland, Florida, in 2017. [31] 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), Birmingham (by the New Orleans Pelicans), Canton Charge (by the Cleveland Cavaliers), Capital City Go-Go (by the Washington Wizards), College Park Skyhawks (by the Atlanta Hawks), Delaware Blue Coats (by the Philadelphia 76ers), 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), 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), Stockton Kings (by the Sacramento Kings), 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: Erie BayHawks (with the New Orleans Pelicans)

NBA teams without an exclusive affiliate: Denver Nuggets 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. [32] 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. [33] The team name was announced as the College Park Skyhawks.

On October 24, 2018, the Pelicans announced plans to place their G League team in Birmingham, Alabama, to play in Legacy Arena located in the Birmingham–Jefferson Convention Complex by 2022. As the arena needs to be renovated, the Pelican's affiliate will begin play the 2019–20 season as the Erie BayHawks after the Atlanta Hawks' affiliate moves to College Park. [34] [35]

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 CHI Health Center Omaha (known as CenturyLink Center Omaha in 2015), Ralston Arena, or Baxter Arena. [36] [37]

On December 7, 2017, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that he was looking into having a G League expansion team in Mexico City potentially as early as 2018. [38] It would be the NBA's first official permanent team in Mexico to test the market after playing exhibition and regular season games in the city. [39]

Defunct / relocated teams

TeamCityYear(s)Former NBA affiliatesNotes
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 2001–2005NoneBecame 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 2001–2004NoneBecame the Florida Flame
Colorado 14ers Broomfield, Colorado 2006–2009 Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, New Jersey Nets, Toronto Raptors Became the Texas Legends
Columbus Riverdragons Columbus, Georgia 2001–2005NoneBecame 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 2001–2003NoneFolded by league
Huntsville Flight Huntsville, Alabama 2001–2005NoneBecame 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 2001–2003NoneFolded by league
Reno Bighorns Reno, Nevada 2008–2018 Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz Became the Stockton Kings
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 Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, New Orleans Hornets, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Seattle SuperSonics 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

Erie BayHawks (2019–)Capital City Go-GoWisconsin HerdMemphis HustleCollege Park SkyhawksErie BayHawks (2017–)Agua Caliente ClippersWindy City BullsLong Island NetsGreensboro SwarmRaptors 905Westchester KnicksMaine Red ClawsStockton KingsReno BighornsLakeland MagicErie BayHawks (2008–2017)Delaware Blue CoatsDelaware 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 AltitudeNBA G League

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, [40] 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 base annual salary is US$35,000 plus housing and insurance benefits. Players who are called up for NBA get bonuses totalling up to US$50,000. [41]

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. [42]

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. [43]

Assignment

Standard assignment

Each NBA team can assign two first-year or second-year players who are under a standard NBA contract 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. [44]

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. [45] 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). [46] Only players with four or less years of NBA experience are eligible for two-way contracts. [47] 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, [48] and while these players are with their NBA team, they will earn a pro-rated portion of the NBA minimum rookie salary (which was $815,615 in the 2017–18 season). [49]

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. [50] [51]

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. [52] 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, 2017 and 2018 NBA champion Shaun Livingston, and 2017 NBA champion Matt Barnes. [53] [54]

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. [55]

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). [56]

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. [57] 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. [58]

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. [59] 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. [60]

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 and 2018.

Honors

List of champions

YearChampion
2002 Greenville Groove
2003 Mobile Revelers
2004 Asheville Altitude
2005 Asheville Altitude
2006 Albuquerque Thunderbirds
2007 Dakota Wizards
2008 Idaho Stampede
2009 Colorado 14ers
2010 Rio Grande Valley Vipers
2011 Iowa Energy
2012 Austin Toros
2013 Rio Grande Valley Vipers
2014 Fort Wayne Mad Ants
2015 Santa Cruz Warriors
2016 Sioux Falls Skyforce
2017 Raptors 905
2018 Austin Spurs
2019 Rio Grande Valley Vipers

Awards

See also

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