The Wizards' G-League team will not play it's first game until the fall of 2018, but its creation process is well underway and later this year should be kicked into another gear.
For now, it's all about constructing the team's arena in Ward 8 of Southeast Washington. The G-League team will ultimately practice and play their games there and so will the WNBA's Mystics. The Wizards will use it as their practice facility.
It's a multipurpose project and, as majority owner Ted Leonsis explained, they have broken ground but have lots of work to do.
"The big issue is will the building be ready. We stood up Kettler [Capitals Iceplex], we did our deal in Hershey, we built the team all during the lockout. That really worked. The goal was to get the Wizards practice facility and arena built in Ward 8," he said. "They've broken ground. You should drive by there one day. There's a hole in the ground and they're building. My goal is to just have the thing stood up and have people go 'wow.' The community can feel great about itself. Maybe we can get some restaurants around there or a little shopping so that that area really fast starts to resemble [Chinatown]."
Leonsis said he expects information about the new G-League team's name and branding will be released this fall. He mentioned three months, which would mean October.
Soon after that we could learn of staff additions. The G-League team will have a whole new staff from the front office to coaching to public relations.
Team president Ernie Grunfeld expects some people to be added by the start of 2018.
"We're gonna have to put some additions on sometime this year just to get people ready so they know our system and they're in place so it's not going to be a shock to their system of what we're trying to do," he said.
The Wizards will have two players on two-way contracts this season in Michael Young and Devin Robinson. They will spend the majority of their time in the G-League with the allowance of 45 days maximum at the NBA level. Grunfeld said the Wizards expect to use multiple G-League teams this season until they have their own. Last season they used several such as the Delaware 87ers and Northern Arizona Suns.
The G-League coaching staff will essentially be an extension of Wizards head coach Scott Brooks' group and he expects to work closely with the G-League team once it is fully assembled.
"I'm going to be able to go there quite a bit on off-days or off-nights. If they have a game, I can go there and vice versa, they can come here." he said.
"It's another commitment from our ownership group. It's important to develop your own players. It's going to be nice to be in our own city so that we can integrate the G-League staff and the players with us. I had a situation in my other job, with the other team I was with, and you utilize it."
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