NBA D-League president Malcolm Turner says the NBA is moving closer to a 30-for-30 model that would provide each NBA team with its own D-League affiliate, and Turner believes that it is a goal that could be realized within the next five years, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today writes. “All those NBA teams who currently don’t have a D-League team, we’re in active conversations with all of them,” Turner said. “Each team is at varying stages in terms of interest, and we’re trying to prioritize actionable interest and opportunities we can act on now. We’re already working on the pipeline of opportunities for 2017/18 and beyond. One of the reasons we’re focused on them so far in advance is 30-for-30 is our No. 1 initiative and we feel like we’re now within striking distance of achieving that goal.”
Turner also acknowledged that increasing player salaries in the D-League to be more competitive with overseas clubs is an important part of allowing the league to grow, Zillgitt adds. “As we grow, we obviously have additional player rosters to fill,” Turner continued. “We want to make sure we’re adding more and better talent to the league rather than less. We are taking a look at any and all opportunities to enhance our value proposition for talent. We’re in the market for top talent to fill our rosters and assessing our overall business accordingly. We have a bright future, and we’re working very hard to realize those opportunities.”
Here’s more from around the league:
- Wolves owner Glen Taylor is engaged in serious talks to sell approximately 20% ownership of the franchise to a group led by Grizzlies minority partner Steve Kaplan, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports. The group’s motivation for purchasing a minority share is that it hopes to position itself to buy the majority stake if Taylor decides to sell the franchise in the future, Wojnarowski adds.
- Greek power forward Giorgos Printezis, whose draft rights went from the Hawks to San Antonio in July as part of the Tiago Splitter trade, is on the Spurs‘ radar, though at 30 years old he is running out of time if he wishes to make the jump stateside, Aris Barkas of Eurohoops.net writes. “It was good to meet with Giorgos. We traded for his rights last summer and this was the first time I got to spend some time with him. I have never met him before,” said Spurs GM R.C.Buford, who recently scouted the player in Athens. Printezis’ contract with Olympiacos runs through the summer of 2017, according to Barkas. As for the chances of seeing the forward in San Antonio at that point, Buford told Barkas, “I think that a part of this decision belongs to him. For sure we will be following him and if our needs fit his needs, then we will see what happens.”
- The Bucks, who are currently without their own affiliate, are willing to invest in a D-League team, and the franchise will meet later this month to discuss the possibilities, Zillgitt tweets.