What is the NBA Development League?
The NBA Development League, also known as the D-League, is a professional basketball league that was created to help players achieve their dreams of playing in the NBA. Currently, 17 teams make up the league, with a record 14 one-to-one affiliations with NBA clubs. The affiliation is important to NBA organizations because it allows them to send younger, typically less experienced players to their D-League affiliate, where the players can take advantage of increased experience and playing time.
Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Delaware 87ers (Philadelphia 76ers)
Erie BayHawks (New York Knicks)
Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Charlotte Bobcats, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic)
Maine Red Claws (Boston Celtics)
Springfield Armor (Brooklyn Nets)
Austin Toros (San Antonio Spurs)
Iowa Energy (Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Washington Wizards)
Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston Rockets)
Sioux Falls Skyforce (Miami HEAT)
Texas Legends (Dallas Mavericks)
Tulsa 66ers (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Bakersfield Jam (Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz)
Los Angeles D-Fenders (Los Angeles Lakers)
Idaho Stampede (Portland Trail Blazers)
Reno Bighorns (Sacramento Kings)
Santa Cruz Warriors (Golden State Warriors)
How long is the D-League season?
The NBA D-League season consists of a 50-game schedule, from late November to early April. The playoffs begin shortly after the regular season. Each team plays 24 regular season home games, and the majority of games are played on weekend dates. The NBA D-League season is showcased during the season at two big events. During the NBA All-Star Weekend, the D-Leaguers play their very own All-Star game and also compete in a dunk contest and three-point shootout. The other event is called the D-League Showcase, where every team in the league plays two games over four days, giving NBA GMs, scouts and player personnel directors an opportunity to see every player in one setting. Reno will play host to the 2014 NBA D-League Showcase for the third consecutive season.
Where do NBA D-League players come from?
NBA D-League teams acquire players through a draft, NBA player assignments, NBA training camp allocations, tryouts and a returning player pool. What separates players in the NBA D-League from other minor league systems is that players do not sign contracts with specific NBA D-League teams. Instead, all players sign a one-year NBA D-League Standard Player Contract with the league itself. All players are relieved of their contractual obligations if they sign a contract with an NBA team at any point in the season. Here are descriptions of the various ways NBA D-League teams can fill their rosters:
Players who signed a D-League contract but are not retained by their previous teams are eligible for the NBA D-League Draft, along with new players who sign with the league. The NBA D-League Draft takes place prior to the start of each season, often in early November.
NBA teams can assign players who are rookies or in their second season to their D-League affiliate. Players can stay with the D-League affiliate for as long as the NBA team wishes, and be recalled back to the NBA at any time.
NBA teams can assign players as many times as they choose. For the second 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, while for the third 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. Last season, the NBA D-League saw veterans Amar’e Stoudemire (New York Knicks, Erie BayHawks) and Keyon Dooling (Memphis Grizzlies, Reno Bighorns) take advantage of NBA D-League assignments to rehabilitate injuries or further develop their games.
NBA Training Camp Allocations:
Up to three players released from the roster of an NBA team before the D-League Draft can be allocated to that team's D-League affiliate provided they sign the standard D-League contract. They are known as “affiliate players.”
Open Tryouts: All D-League teams conduct local tryouts in late October of each year, from which players can be invited to training camp with a chance of making the team's roster.
Returning Players: Teams can invite a limited number of players who played for that respective club during the previous season.
NBA D-League rosters must consist of 10 NBA D-League players, but may not exceed a total of 12 players, including NBA assignments. If more than two NBA players are assigned at once, a team must reduce its roster to avoid going over 12 players.
Teams are limited to 12 roster moves a season, although additional moves can be gained in certain situations, such as a player being signed by an NBA team or leaving to play in Europe. Training camp roster cuts do not count against the 12 moves.
How do D-Leaguers make the jump to the NBA?
A call-up occurs when a player is signed by an NBA team. An NBA team is allowed to sign any D-League player as long as they are eligible to play in the NBA under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). However, an NBA team cannot call-up a player whose draft rights are still held by another NBA team. A D-League player is usually signed to a 10-day contract, a short term contract which expires after 10 days. A player can only sign two 10-day contracts with the same team in one season. If the team wants to retain the player after the second 10-day contract expired, the team must sign the player for the remainder of the season.
During the 2012-13 season, the NBA D-League saw all-time highs in NBA player assignments (184) and individual players assigned (58) from their NBA parent clubs. Twenty six players drafted in 2012 spent time on assignment in the NBA D-League, including 11 first round selections. Jeremy Lamb, selected 12th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kendall Marshall, the 13th overall selection by the Phoenix Suns, headlined the group of 2012 NBA Draft picks to play in the NBA D-League.
How old are D-League players?
The minimum age to play in the D-League is 18, unlike the NBA, which requires players to be 19 years old and one year out of high school in order to sign an NBA contract or be eligible for the draft. There is no maximum age and a recent trend has seen NBA veterans attempt to return to the NBA via the D-League.
What is the NBA D-League's role in relation to social responsibility?
The D-League Cares initiative demonstrates the commitment of the league, its teams, and its players in addressing important social issues by emphasizing health-related causes and educational, youth, and family development. The best opportunity for the NBA D-League to build ties within communities is to become an active member, which the league continues to do through various year-round programs. For example, NBA D-League Cares performs roughly 300 reading-related programs and activities each season, including Welcome Back to School Events, Read to Achieve Day and monthly Reading Timeouts.
How does the NBA D-League develop its players off of the basketball court?
The NBA D-League Player Development Department has the role of promoting personal, professional and social development of D-League players. Players participate in comprehensive educational programming and services to maximize their potential. These programs and services include seminars regarding off-court professional development, college degree completion, and life skills programs such as the Summer Apprenticeship Program (SAP). Players may also participate in a one-on-one Mentor Program, which matches accomplished NBA players with NBA D-League players who share similar career goals and aspirations.