The Hawks are the latest team to secure a D-League affiliate.
They also might wind up the last to actually get one.
The NBA Development League and the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club today announced that the Hawks have acquired the right to own and operate an NBA D-League team that will play in College Park, Ga., beginning with the 2019-20 season. Additionally, the City of College Park has agreed to construct a 3500-seat arena in which the new franchise will serve as the primary tenant.
D-League expansion is happening rapidly. Just eight NBA teams – Hawks, Nuggets, Clippers, Bucks, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Trail Blazers and Wizards – lack an affiliate. Denver will get one next season, and other teams probably aren’t far behind.
If the Hawks wait until 2019, other teams – maybe even all seven – could jump ahead to get affiliates sooner.
The new Collective Bargaining Agreement is increasing the advantage of having an affiliate, allowing for two-way contracts. It’s only a matter of time until all 30 NBA teams have their own affiliate.