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Report: Nuggets likely to get their own D-League team next season

Oklahoma City Thunder v Denver Nuggets

Oklahoma City Thunder v Denver Nuggets

NBAE/Getty Images

Just eight NBA teams don’t have their own D-League affiliate:

  • Atlanta Hawks
  • Denver Nuggets
  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • Portland Trail Blazers
  • Washington Wizards

That list could soon shrink even further.

Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post:

The Nuggets are likely to get back into the D-League business next season, according to league sources. But nothing has been decided or is imminent.

There’s not a huge value in having a D-League affiliate right now. There are advantages, but anyone in the D-League who’s not on an NBA contract – which takes up an NBA roster spot and counts against the NBA cap – is an NBA free agent. So, an NBA team could develop a young player on its affiliate only to have another NBA team snatch him away.

But I think that will change soon. Once all 30 NBA teams have their own affiliates, I predict they’ll hold exclusive NBA rights to some, if not all, of the D-League players on their affiliates (which will lead to increased salaries for D-Leaguers).

So, there will be major value in having an affiliate and running it well. Might as well get a head start on establishing the operation now.