One-Day D-League Assignments

The D-League season is only a few weeks old, but a few trends involving the way NBA teams use their D-League affiliates are already developing. Six NBA teams have so far assigned a total of 10 players to the D-League for just a single day, as our list of D-League assignments and recalls shows. In many cases, such moves demonstrate an organizational willingness to shuttle players back and forth in an effort to maximize their playing time in the D-League and practice time with the big club.

Sometimes, a one-day assignment is more by happenstance than design, as with Marquis Teague‘s abbreviated stint with the Iowa Energy. Mike James suffered an injury while Teague was en route to join the D-League team, so the Bulls recalled Teague as soon as his plane landed. His was the only D-League assignment the Bulls have made all year, and it was the team’s first assignment since the 2010/11 season, so despite the relative proximity of Chicago to the Energy’s home base in Des Moines, it’s unlikely the Bulls will make a habit of such one-day stints.

The Bulls are one of five teams sharing the Energy as an affiliate, and most of the NBA clubs that shuttle players back and forth have one-to-one affiliations with their D-League partners. That’s the case with every other team that’s made a one-day assignment so far this season. All five of Golden State’s D-League assignments have lasted just a single day, and the Warriors lead the league in this category, making frequent use of their affiliate in nearby Santa Cruz.

The Lakers took the concept a step further last month, recalling Elias Harris and Ryan Kelly the same day they were assigned. It helps that the D-Fenders, the D-League affiliate of the Lakers, play their games at the Toyota Sports Center, the same complex where the Lakers practice.

The Thunder were one of the leading practioners of the one-day assignment last season, but they haven’t pulled off the trick so far this year, keeping Andre Roberson with the Tulsa 66ers for six days in the team’s only 2013/14 assignment. That figures to change as the season wears on, and other teams will likely join this list as well. Still, early returns help show which clubs are exploiting the NBA’s burgeoning player development system to its fullest.

Warriors (5):

Spurs (4):

Lakers (2):

Bulls (1):

Kings (1):

Nets (1):


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