The D-League now has 19 teams with 19 NBA affiliates.
The Hornets announced they’ll have their own D-League team – next season, they hope.
But they reportedly wouldn’t be the only D-League franchise to launch next season.
Sources close to the process expect more D-League teams next season.
Sources close to the process peg the annual costs of running a D-League team at just around $2 million per season.
Beyond Charlotte, 10 other NBA teams lack a D-League affiliate:
- Trail Blazers
Several of those teams have talked about adding a D-League affiliate, but the Hawks might be most concrete. They hired an executive to usher in an new team, and president/coach Mike Budenholzer called Atlanta having its own affiliate “critical.”
The Hawks would also make sense, because the Hornets are looking to place a team in the Carolinas. Another Southeast team could make D-League scheduling easier.
I don’t think we’re far from a 30-team D-League with each NBA team having its own affiliate, but it will take time. That $2 million per season sounds cheap, but franchise fees reportedly run about $6 million. Not every NBA team will pay that – though it seems at least a couple will next year.