For Immediate Release

RENO, NEV., July 17, 2012 — The Reno Bighorns will affiliate with the Sacramento Kings, the Memphis Grizzlies and the Utah Jazz for the 2012-13 NBA Development League season, the team announced today.

This will mark the fifth consecutive year that the Bighorns will be affiliated with the Sacramento Kings. The Kings have assigned players to the Bighorns a total of four times over the five seasons. The Grizzlies and the Bighorns will be entering their second season of being affiliated. The Grizzlies assigned rookie point guard Josh Selby to the team three times last season. This year will be the first that the Jazz and Bighorns are affiliated. Bighorns All-Star Blake Ahearn ended last season with the Jazz and also played on their summer league team this year.

For the eighth consecutive year, each NBA team has one NBA D-League team to which it may assign players. During the 2011-12 season, the NBA D-League saw all-time highs in NBA player assignments (67) and individual players assigned (44) from their NBA parent clubs. Jeremy Lin headlines the group of 44 players to benefit from the assignment system during the 2011-12 season. Lin returned to the NBA D-League, joining the New York Knicks affiliate Erie BayHawks for one game following a 20 game assignment from the Golden State Warriors to the Reno Bighorns the previous year. In 21 total games over two seasons, Lin averaged 18.5 points and 4.7 assists.

Beginning in the 2012-13 season, NBA players in the first three years of their NBA careers may be assigned to their NBA D-League affiliate an unlimited number of times, according to the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement. For the second consecutive year, players beyond the first three years of their NBA careers may be assigned to their NBA D-League affiliate with their consent and the consent of the NBA Players Association.

“We’re thrilled to have 11 single affiliates next season in the NBA D-League while continuing a highly effective development system that benefits all 30 NBA teams and 16 NBA D-League teams,” said Dan Reed, NBA D-League President. “The assignment system has proven to be an invaluable tool in the development of countless young NBA prospects, and I look forward to watching a new crop of players benefit from increased playing time and exposure while on assignment in the NBA D-League next year.”

Of the 16 NBA D-League teams playing during the 2012-13 season, five are fully owned and operated by their NBA affiliates: the Austin Toros (San Antonio Spurs), Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers), Dakota Wizards (Golden State Warriors), Los Angeles D-Fenders (Los Angeles Lakers), and Tulsa 66ers (Oklahoma City Thunder). The Wizards have applied to relocate the team from Bismarck, North Dakota to Santa Cruz, California in a move that would bring the team closer to the Warriors. The Erie BayHawks (New York Knicks), Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston Rockets) and Springfield Armor (Brooklyn Nets) join the Stampede (Trail Blazers) and Red Claws (Celtics) as teams with ‘hybrid’ single-affiliation partnerships, where the NBA teams control their NBA D-League affiliates’ basketball operations. The Dallas Mavericks remain solely affiliated with the Texas Legends.

The remaining five NBA D-League teams will have three or four NBA parent teams: Bakersfield Jam (Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors), Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Charlotte Bobcats, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks), Iowa Energy (Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, New Orleans Hornets, Washington Wizards), Reno Bighorns (Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz), Sioux Falls Skyforce (Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers).

The NBA D-League continues to be a launching pad for NBA talent – 27 percent of all NBA players on 2011-12 end-of-season rosters have played in the NBA D-League, while one third of the NBA Draft classes from 2009, 2010, and 2011 played in the NBA D-League.