FEBRUARY 7, 1:56pm: The Bucks will own and operate a D-League franchise in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, beginning in the 2017/18 season, sources tell Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Gardner adds that the city’s new 3,500-seat arena is expected to be ready in time for next season.
FEBRUARY 6, 6:35pm: WBAY-TV in Wisconsin has confirmed a report that the Bucks will soon make an announcement regarding an affiliate D-League team. The announcement will be made in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Ted Miller writes for Action 2 News. Per Miller, Oshkosh is one of three cities vying for the Bucks’ D-League affiliate. According to a WBAY report in January, developers are hoping to begin work on a new basketball arena/entertainment complex by March.
Oshkosh mayor Steve Cummings expressed excitement at the prospect of a D-League team at a town meeting last month. “I think this will transform an area that has been blighted for years into the the crown jewel of this city,” Cummings told Nate Beck of USA Today.
The Bucks, who have used the flexible assignment rule throughout the 2016/17 season, would clearly benefit from having a D-League team in such close proximity to their arena in Wisconsin. The confirmation of a team in Oshkosh would be one step further toward each NBA team having an individual D-League affiliate.
Assuming Milwaukee’s affiliate comes to fruition, 25 of 30 NBA teams will no longer have to rely upon the flexible assignment rule. The Clippers, Nuggets, Wizards, Trail Blazers, and Pelicans are the five teams without their own D-League affiliate lined up for the 2017/18 season.
Here are the other D-League affiliate changes on the horizon:
- The Hawks will get an affiliate in Erie for the next two seasons before moving it to College Park, Georgia in 2019/20.
- The Magic, previously affiliated with Erie, will purchase and control a new D-League team in Lakeland, Florida.
- The Timberwolves will buy and control the Iowa Energy.
- The Grizzlies, previous affiliated with Iowa, will get a new D-League team in Southaven, Mississippi.