Memphis Grizzlies purchase NBA Development League expansion team

Memphis, Tenn. – The Memphis Grizzlies and the NBA Development League announced today that the Grizzlies have acquired the right to own and operate a NBA D-League expansion team that will begin play for the 2017-18 season. With the purchase, the Grizzlies become the 19th NBA team to own and operate a NBA D-League affiliate, while the NBA D-League grows to 23 teams.

“It’s a time of tremendous growth in the NBA D-League and I’m excited to continue our expansion into the South,” said NBA D-League President Malcolm Turner. “I’m thrilled to welcome the Memphis Grizzlies ownership group and franchise into the NBA D-League family of owners and I can’t wait to watch the team compete in the Mid-South next season.”

The Grizzlies’ new NBA D-League team will play its 24 home games at the 8,400-seat Landers Center, located 20 miles south of Memphis in Southaven, Miss. The Landers Center is also home to the Southern Professional Hockey League’s Mississippi RiverKings and hosts concerts, comedians and other events.

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“This acquisition further demonstrates the deep level of commitment our ownership group has in building a world-class organization here in Memphis and the region,” said Robert Pera, Grizzlies Controlling Owner.

“We are excited to operate our own D-League franchise here in the Memphis area,” said Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace. “Player development is a primary focal point of our basketball operations under Robert Pera and our ownership group. Having the team in such close proximity and holding practices at our state-of-the-art facilities at FedExForum will allow us to best develop our future Grizzlies players.”

“We are always seeking opportunities to grow and better engage with our fan base,” Grizzlies President of Business Operations Jason Wexler said. “Placing our D-League team in North Mississippi allows us to further strengthen and expand the Grizzlies’ brand throughout the Memphis and Mid-South community.”

Ticket information and pricing, as well as the team name and logo, will be announced in Spring 2017. Fans interested in season tickets can log onto www.memphisdleague.com or call (901) 888-HOOP and place deposits of $50 per seat to gain Season Ticket priority. Current Grizzlies MVP Season Ticket Holders will be given seating priority.

The Grizzlies are currently in the third and final season of a hybrid partnership with the NBA D-League’s Iowa Energy wherein Memphis controls the basketball decisions while Iowa team ownership manages business and community operations. During the partnership, the Grizzlies have assigned seven total players for development or rehabilitation, including current Grizzlies Wade Baldwin IV, James Ennis III, Jarell Martin and Troy Williams. In total, seven current Grizzlies have NBA D-League experience, while assistant coach Nick Van Exel served as an NBA D-League head coach during the 2015-16 season.

More than 40 percent of players drafted into the NBA since 2005 have spent time in the NBA D-League, including almost half of the players selected in NBA Draft 2016 presented by State Farm. This season, more than 60 NBA players have spent time on assignment in the NBA D-League.

Fans who want to support the Memphis D-League franchise can do so now by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to memphisdleague.com and place a $50 deposit on 2017/18 Season Tickets today. For more information on the Memphis D-League franchise and the Grizzlies, ‘like’ Memphis Grizzlies on Facebook or follow on Twitter (@memgrizz).