The Heat will enter into a single-affiliation partnership with the NBA D-League's Sioux Falls Skyforce for the 2013/14 season, Miami announced today in a press release. The Skyforce had previously served as the D-League affiliate for four teams: The Heat, Timberwolves, Magic, and 76ers.
"We have been working with the Skyforce for four years and feel that it is one of the most professional organizations in the NBA Development League," said Heat president Pat Riley in a statement. "It will be a pleasure working with [Skyforce owner and president] Mike Heineman to make this partnership a success for both them and the Miami Heat."
The partnership will be the sixth "hybrid" affiliation between an NBA team and a D-League franchise, allowing the NBA club to run the D-League squad's basketball operations while local ownership maintains control of the franchise. The Nets (Springfield Armor), Celtics (Maine Red Claws), Rockets (Rio Grande Valley Vipers), Knicks (Erie BayHawks) and Trail Blazers (Idaho Stampede) are the other teams engaged in hybrid affiliations.
Miami becomes the second NBA team this offseason to secure a one-to-one affiliation with a D-League team. The 76ers announced in April that they'd be taking control of a previously dormant franchise which will now be known as the Delaware 87ers.