NBA G League Affiliations For 2021/22 Season

After an abridged 2020/21 season that only included 18 of the league’s 28 teams, the NBA G League is expected to get back to normal in 2021/22. And for the first time, the league appears on track to feature 30 franchises.

That doesn’t mean that all 30 NBA teams will have a G League affiliate of their own, however. While 28 NBAGL franchises have relationships with NBA squads, the other two are independent, without affiliations.

One of those two is the G League Ignite, which debuted last season. The Ignite is the NBAGL’s developmental program for top prospects coming out of high school. About half the roster is made up of those prospects, while the other half is made up of veterans who will serve as mentors to those up-and-coming teenagers.

The other unaffiliated G League franchise will be the Capitanes Ciudad De Mexico, the NBAGL’s first franchise based in Mexico.

The G League actually still hasn’t officially announced that the Capitanes – based in Mexico City – will be part of the 2021/22 season and doesn’t mention the club in the list of teams on its official website. However, Shams Charania reported in May that the Capitanes would be joining the G League for the ’21/22 campaign, and the team has said so as well. The NBA may still be working through COVID-related logistical issues before formally confirming the Capitanes’ inaugural NBAGL season.

[UPDATE: G League’s Mexico City Team To Play In U.S. In 2021/22]

Besides the Ignite and Capitanes, there are expected to be 28 more teams taking part in the G League’s 2021/22 season, all affiliated with NBA teams. Those affiliations are as follows:

  1. Atlanta Hawks: College Park Skyhawks
  2. Boston Celtics: Maine Celtics
    • New name (formerly Maine Red Claws).
  3. Brooklyn Nets: Long Island Nets
  4. Charlotte Hornets: Greensboro Swarm
  5. Chicago Bulls: Windy City Bulls
  6. Cleveland Cavaliers: Cleveland Charge
    • New name (formerly Canton Charge).
  7. Dallas Mavericks: Texas Legends
  8. Denver Nuggets: Grand Rapids Gold
    • New affiliation, name (formerly Grand Rapids Drive, affiliated with Pistons).
  9. Detroit Pistons: Motor City Cruise
    • New affiliation, name, location (formerly Northern Arizona Suns, affiliated with Suns).
  10. Golden State Warriors: Santa Cruz Warriors
  11. Houston Rockets: Rio Grande Valley Vipers
  12. Indiana Pacers: Fort Wayne Mad Ants
  13. Los Angeles Clippers: Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario
  14. Los Angeles Lakers: South Bay Lakers
  15. Memphis Grizzlies: Memphis Hustle
  16. Miami Heat: Sioux Falls Skyforce
  17. Milwaukee Bucks: Wisconsin Herd
  18. Minnesota Timberwolves: Iowa Wolves
  19. New Orleans Pelicans: Birmingham Squadron
    • New name, location (formerly Erie BayHawks).
  20. New York Knicks: Westchester Knicks
  21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Oklahoma City Blue
  22. Orlando Magic: Lakeland Magic
  23. Philadelphia 76ers: Delaware Blue Coats
  24. Sacramento Kings: Stockton Kings
  25. San Antonio Spurs: Austin Spurs
  26. Toronto Raptors: Raptors 905
  27. Utah Jazz: Salt Lake City Stars
  28. Washington Wizards: Capital City Go-Go

Of those 28 G League teams, 26 are fully owned and operated by their NBA partners. Only the Rockets and Nuggets have “hybrid” affiliations with their G League teams, meaning they manage and fund the basketball operations while local ownership maintains the control of the business and its community relations.

The two teams without NBAGL affiliates are the Trail Blazers and Suns. As noted above, Phoenix actually had its own G League team – the Northern Arizona Suns – but sold the club to the Pistons, who have relocated it to Detroit and rebranded it as the Motor City Cruise. Portland, meanwhile, has long been one of the few NBA teams without an NBAGL affiliate.

The Blazers and Suns are still permitted to send players to another team’s G League affiliate during the season via the flexible assignment rule, but won’t have much say in how those players are used or developed at the NBAGL level.

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