DECEMBER 14: The Magic have officially issued a press release announcing that they have agreed to purchase the BayHawks and relocated the franchise to Lakeland for the 2017/18 season (Twitter link).
DECEMBER 13: The Magic will have a new D-League affiliate in Lakeland, Florida and the team could play there as soon as next season, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports. The franchise has a press conference scheduled on Wednesday to announce the changes.
The team is currently in the last year of a three-year agreement with the Erie BayHawks to be its D-League affiliate. The distance between Erie, PA and Orlando, FL has prevented the team from utilizing its affiliate as much as the team would like, according to Robbins. The location of the new affiliate will make it easier for the Magic to send players to the D-League and they will have more opportunities to send injured players there rehab assignments.
The BayHawks were founded in 2008 as an expansion team and they were originally affiliated with the Sixers and Cavs. Both team have since established their own independent affiliates. There is no news yet on whether Erie will continue to support a D-League team once the Magic officially make their move.