2008-09 D-League Affiliates In Review
by Matthew Brennan, D-League.com
September 3, 2008: On November 28, the D-League will enter its fourth season using the NBA Affiliation system. Each team in the D-League has one to three NBA affiliates who are permitted to assign players in their first or second seasons to the D-League. Players can be assigned up to the three times a season for any length of time.
Listed here are the new affiliations for the 2008-09 season, along with a list of eligible players who are currently listed on each NBA roster (rosters as of NBA Opening Night). In the past three years, a total of 75 different players have been assigned to the D-League by 26 different NBA teams. San Antonio's Ian Mahinmi set a new record for games played on assignment, totaling 46 regular season and four playoff games in 2007-08, while Chicago's Shannon Brown and current Dallas Maverick Brandon Bass made the shortest cameos in the D-League, playing in one game each during their rookie years. When it comes to teams, the Dallas Mavericks have been the most active when it comes to assignments, sending seven different players to the D-League, while the Clippers, Knicks, Kings and Pacers are the only teams that have never assigned a player. Visit the D-League transactions page for a complete list of NBA assignments dating back to the 2005-06 season.
Atlanta (Anaheim): None
The T-Birds will have new affiliates this season, as Dallas and Miami replace Phoenix and Philadelphia. The Mavericks have sent seven different players to the D-League in the past three years, although guard Jose Barea is the only one who remains on the Mavericks roster. Miami assigned both Daequan Cook and Joel Anthony to the Iowa Energy last season.
The Arsenal retain the Clippers and the Hawks and lose Orlando, who were the only team to assign a player to Anaheim last season in the form of Marcin Gortat. The Clippers have some intriguing assignment possibilities with second round draft pick (and former D-League player) Mike Taylor and GATORADE Call-Up Marcus Williams on the roster.
The Toros are owned by the Spurs and will remain soley affiliated with San Antonio this season. Center Ian Mahinmi was named First Team All-D-League after spending the majority of his rookie season in Austin. Mahinmi is eligible to return to Austin this season along with a host of rookies.
The Jam retain Golden State and trade Orlando for Sacramento as they head into their third D-League season. The Warriors assigned two young centers to Bakersfield (Kosta Perovic and Patrick O'Bryant) last year while Orlando assigned one player to Anaheim.
Chris Covatta/Getty Images/NBAE
The 14ers only saw one player make the trip to Broomfield last season when the Nuggets assigned Taurean Green late in the season. They will retain the hometown Nuggets as well as the New Jersey Nets, while Toronto departs as an affiliate after two season.
The Wizards will keep the same affiliations as last year, with the Grizzlies and Washiongton Wizards returning. Neither team assigned a player last year, which made Dakota the only team in the D-League to not receive a player on assignment during the 2007-08 season.
The BayHawks will enter their first D-League season with the two closest teams geographically as their affiliates in Cleveland and Philadelphia. The Cavaliers assigned three different players to Rio Grande Valley last season, while Philadelphia was quiet on the assignment front last year after sending Louis Williams to the D-League for a short stint during the 2006-07 season.
Fort Wayne Mad Ants
The Mad Ants will be the only D-League team with three NBA affiliates as Milwaukee joins Central Division rivals Detroit and Indiana. Detroit's Cheikh Samb was the only NBA player to head to Fort Wayne last season, where he set a new D-League single-game record with 11 blocks in a game. Samb will be eligble to return to Fort Wayne as well as Milwaukee's Ramon Sessions, who earned NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honors in April after excelling in the D-League earlier in the year. Other notable who could potentially be assigned include Detroit's Will Bynum, the 2005-06 D-League Rookie of the Year, and Indiana's Josh McRoberts, who won a D-League title with Idaho last season on assignment from Portland.
Detroit Pistons: Alex Acker, Arron Afflalo, Will Bynum, Cheikh Samb, Rodney Stuckey
Indiana Pacers: Roy Hibbert, Josh McRoberts, Brandon Rush
Milwaukee Bucks: Joe Alexander, Luc Mbah a Moute, Ramon Sessions
Gary Dineen/Getty Images/NBAE
The defending D-League champions retain Portland and add the Toronto Raptors as their affiliates for 2008-09. The Trail Blazers sent two players west to Boise last season while Toronto did not assign a player to the D-League after being active in the first two years of the affiliation system.
The Energy retain the Chicago Bulls and will have Phoenix replace Miami as their second affiliate. Both teams assigned players to the D-League last season, with the Suns' Alando Tucker winning D-League Performer of the Week honors while on assignment to Albuquerque. Tucker was the first player assigned to the D-League by Phoenix since early in the 2005-06 season (Dijon Thompson).
Los Angeles D-Fenders
The D-Fenders enter their third season under the ownership of the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers assigned rookie guard Coby Karl to the D-Fenders for a total of 17 games last season. The D-Fenders are the only D-League team that plays in the same arena as their NBA affiliate.
Los Angeles Lakers: Sun Yue
The Bighorns enter their first season in the D-League. They will be affiliated with the New York Knicks and the Sacramento Kings in 2008-09, neither of whom has sent a player to the D-League in the three years of the affiliation system.
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images/NBAE
Rio Grande Valley Vipers
The Vipers retain Houston and New Orleans and drop Cleveland as they prepare to enter their second D-League season. Rio Grande had four different players assigned from the Rockets and the Cavaliers last season, but Houston's Aaron Brooks is the only one that could make a return trip this year. The Rockets did pick up D.J. Strawberry, a D-League Performer of the Week in 2007-08 while on assignment from Phoenix, in a trade. The Hornets did not assign any players last season and only have one player eligible to be assgined on their current roster.
Sioux Falls Skyforce
The Skyforce will keep the same affiliates as last season with the Bobcats and Timberwolves both returning. Both teams assigned second-round draft picks for short stints in the D-League last season, with Charlotte's Jermareo Davidson and Minnesota's Chris Richard playing six games each in Sioux Falls. Both players could possibly make a return in their second NBA season.
The 66ers will enter their fourth D-League season and their first under the ownership of the Oklahoma City Thunder. As a result, the 66ers will become the third D-League team (joining Austin and Los Angeles) to have one NBA affiliate that is also their owner. The team assigned both Mickael Gelabale and Mouhamed Sene to Idaho last year, with Sene picking up the D-League Co-Defensive Player of the Year award. Sene was the first assigned player to win a D-League season award.
The Flash remain affiliated with the Utah Jazz and the Boston Celtics as they enter their second D-League season. Both teams assigned players who made an impact in the D-League in 2007-08, highlighted by Utah's Morris Almond. Almond set a new D-League single-game record with 53 points and led the league in scoring for most of the time he spent with the Flash. Jazz teammate Kyrylo Fesenko joined Almond on the D-League All-Star Team in February, while Boston's Gabe Pruitt averaged 18.6 points during his D-League assignment. All three players are eligible to return to the Flash this season.