Suns To Become 30th NBA Team With G League Affiliate

The Suns have announced in a press release that they’ve acquired the right to own and operate a G League team, which will debut in 2024/25.

Phoenix had been the only NBA team without an NBAGL affiliate, so barring an unexpected development, all 30 NBA clubs will be affiliated with a G League team beginning next season. The league, which also features the unaffiliated G League Ignite and Mexico City Capitanes, will feature a total of 32 franchises in ’24/25.

Suns owner Mat Ishbia stated after he took over majority control of the team a year ago that establishing a G League affiliate was a priority and formally announced last July that he intended to do just that. Today’s announcement confirms that the Suns are officially moving forward with that plan and are on track to have the team begin competing this fall.

“Bringing a G League team to Phoenix was one of my first priorities as owner,” Ishbia said today in a statement. “Adding a G League team creates another area for us to compete to be the best and will be a vital tool to help develop players and coaches. Just like the Suns and Mercury, our G League team will serve as a community asset and make a positive impact on and off the court.”

The Suns’ new G League team will play its home games in the Phoenix metro area, but more details beyond that aren’t yet known. Announcements on the venue, team name, and logo, will come in the spring, with a contest being held during the next two weeks giving fans an opportunity to name the franchise.

“To get the team going as quickly as we are, we’re probably going to have to find some temporary,” Ishbia told Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “The plan is to have an arena and place and a venue for the G League team to play. We plan on it being close enough to our current place that players aren’t driving four hours like I think a lot of other teams have set up.”

Phoenix actually had a G League affiliate known as the Northern Arizona Suns from 2016-21, but former team owner Robert Sarver sold the franchise to the Pistons, who relocated it to Michigan and rebranded it as the Motor City Cruise.

As a result, the Suns haven’t had a G League team for the past three seasons, meaning any player they want to send to the NBAGL has had to report to another NBA club’s affiliate. That will no longer be the case beginning this fall.

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