So, it seems like it would be a good time for someone to try to put together a real league, or even an organization to just loop together some regional leagues into a single "AA" level, that can then solidly present themselves as a "semi-pro" place for players to then "move up" to D-League squads.
I am not aware of any league other than the trash ABA league being around right now, which even OSC doesn't want to cover. The Canadian basketball league is probably more legit... maybe if they got to 15 teams, and there was a 15-team American "AA" league to pair with it, that would be a "pseudo" AA that, at some point could try to make some more official relationships with the D-League/NBA.
Great thought process on this thread though. That's where the focus needs to light now - AA level basketball.
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Nothing like the CBA years ago either.
If you are talking about a league (or two) coming together and self promoting themselves as the AA of minor league basketball, you should see multiple leagues claiming that. Really you already see that.
PBL claims to be the "AAA" of professional basketball lol
To me, the thing is that there is not enough "real" talent to go around to justify this. "Real" meaning talented players with an actual chance to make it in to the NBA. Not sure how many players will be on a full D-League roster once everyone is on a one to one affiliation but I imagine it will be at least 10 per team. That's 300+ players around the country.
The interesting thing is that it is now rare to see a guy drafted in the second round and get instant playing time at the NBA level. These guys are staying overseas or playing in the D-League most the season. I now wonder if the D-League will be a little watered down with nearly doubling the players in the league over a 5 year span. They have to start getting some international talent over and possibly have potential one and dones come play their instead of college.
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Currently, the only need below the D-League level is someone to fill in when a D-League regular gets signed to a 10-day contract.
Kind of ironic considering the D=Development lol. I do tend to agree that until everyone is on a one to one and some of these recent rules & structures are adjusted, the league will not be running to its capacity.
Once all teams can hire its own coaches, run its owns systems, send players up and down as needed, I think the development will be better. Especially since most teams are now moving closer to the parent club and management can get out and see the players in person more often.
NKSports: Not sure about an "academy" but I do agree the players should have a better option to not do the one and done and come straight to the D-League. I look for them to go to the baseball/hockey model by the next CBA. Right now some players are leaving high school and going over seas for one season then on to the NBA.
Obviously baseball has an extremely "deep" baseball system (what would be considered at least 4 levels), and hockey has 2 levels below the NHL (AHL and ECHL). Whether the NBA can sustain even an unofficial "AA" level with 12-15 teams remains to be seen, especially considering the role that foreign leagues already give players "good enough" and who want to live overseas for awhile a chance for.
One thing to remember also is that, even in the baseball and hockey minor leagues, at every level there are probably at best 50% of every roster that is really "moving" towards being top-level league players. The other 50+% of the players on every team are kind of "lifers" at around that level of the sport.... they are good enough to stick at around AA or AAA, but, will likely never move past that level, although they are kept around by the teams to fill out rosters and give the talent actually moving up and through someone to play.
There really won't be any room on G-League rosters for 3rd, 4th, and 5th round draft picks. Therefore, Mid-Nov each year there will be 75-90 free agents on the open market that the NBA believed were worthy of a minor league contract. So three are enough players to support a lower level league.
I suspect a number of small regionally based (bus) Independent leagues will pop up. Leagues that can supply the G-League with reinforcements after teams experience injuries. The CBA proved that a league can survive on NBA contract buy outs. But a national 'AA' league isn't viable because of the added travel and lodging expenses.
At 7 per every team in the league that is 210 players that will not be on 2 way contracts. For me, that is plenty to chose from. IMO I dont think the D-League will be in need of a sub level.
If anything, I fear the league will get watered down with 30 teams soon to be competing. I still think the league will not be at its highest potential point until they let players come directly from high school and play in the D-League. That added with some international talent could really produce some young talented stars.
I still think the league will not be at its highest potential point until they let players come directly from high school and play in the D-League. That added with some international talent could really produce some young talented stars.
This statement makes the point for such a sub level league those high school players will need a season to adjust to the game traveling and holding things not allowed in the high school game, takes time to incorporate into your game and not get a call against you.
Sure they could go overseas, but that is risky now with the world being unstable some younger players won't be so willing to travel.
A sub league would only house probably no more than 5 to 10 NBA level talented players at first but over time more high school seniors would opt to play where the exposure would directly offer the opportunity to gain access into the NBA system, of course this would threaten college to a degree as well.
But this is also the future of sports development and movement.