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Raptors Continue NBA D-League Affiliate With Erie Bayhawks

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July 6, 2010

The National Basketball Association announced Tuesday its affiliation system for the 2010-11 NBA Development League season. Each NBA team has one NBA D-League affiliate to which it may assign players in their first or second NBA season. Toronto, along with Cleveland, will be affiliated with the Erie BayHawks for the upcoming year.

Toronto enters its second season connected with the BayHawks. Since 2005 the Raptors have been affiliated with the Arkansas RimRockers (2005-06), Colorado 14ers (2006-08) and Idaho Stampede (2008-09). The Raptors have assigned three players (Nathan Jawai, Pape Sow and P.J. Tucker) to its NBA D-League affiliates since the start of the 2005-06 season.

Forward Sonny Weems was part of the Colorado 14ers NBA D-League Championship team as member of the Denver Nuggets during the 2008-09 season. Weems averaged 20.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 during his 22 games in the NBA D-League. He went on to start in 19 games for the Raptors last year, averaging a career-best 7.5 points.

“The direct affiliation between NBA and NBA D-League teams continues to benefit players, coaches, and basketball fans,” said Dan Reed, NBA D-League President. “Nearly one-third of all NBA Draft picks have played for their NBA D-League affiliate since the program's inception, and these affiliate relationships are a key reason why 20 percent of all NBA players have NBA D-League playing experience.”

The NBA D-League continues to be a springboard for elite basketball talent, with more NBA players than ever boasting NBA D-League experience. More than 30 percent of players from the last five NBA Draft classes have played in the NBA D-League, including Hasheem Thabeet, the second overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft, who became the highest drafted player to be assigned to an NBA D-League team when the Memphis Grizzlies assigned him to the Dakota Wizards. Additionally, Twenty percent of NBA players on 2009-10 end-of-season rosters had NBA D-League experience, while 29 of 30 NBA teams featured players with NBA D-League experience last season. Over the first five seasons of the NBA D-League's assignment system, NBA teams have assigned 140 players a total of 217 times to play in the NBA D-League