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Suns To Have Own D-League Affiliate

MAY 13TH: The Suns have officially partnered with the D-League’s Jam on a one-to-one affiliation, the league announced.

MAY 8TH: Paul Coro of reports that the Suns are expected to finalize an agreement with Bakersfield next week, and that it will indeed be a hybrid one-to-one relationship as previously reported.

APRIL 30TH: Sources tell Gino Pilato of D-League Digest that they expect the Suns will partner with the D-League’s Bakersfield Jam next season (Twitter link). It would be a “hybrid” arrangement in which the Suns would control the basketball operations for the club while the Jam would continue to be independently owned.

Phoenix only made a pair of D-League assignments this season, as our log shows, having shared the Jam with the Hawks, Clippers, Raptors and Jazz. Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby and GM Ryan McDonough would apparently like to make more frequent use of the D-League next year. That stands to reason, given that the Suns are set to have four or perhaps five draft picks in June, with the potential for another extra pick coming their way as early as next year.

The Jam were one of only three D-League teams aligned with more than one NBA franchise this season. It appears as though there will be just two D-League squads to cover the NBA clubs without one-to-one affiliations for next season, even as the Knicks are creating a new D-League team that will be the league’s 18th. The Magic are taking over the Erie BayHawks, the Knicks’ former affiliate, and there’s a strong possibility that the Jazz will partner with the Idaho Stampede, with whom the Blazers are ending their partnership. That means the Nets, who lost their one-to-one affiliate to the Pistons, will join the Hawks, Clippers, Raptors, Bobcats, Pacers, Grizzlies, Bucks, Bulls, Nuggets, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Wizards and Blazers in sharing D-League teams in 2014/15, unless one of them strikes a new agreement.

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