In the Hawk's eyes, it would be nice to have a D-League team that you could be in full control of as the parent club. Have coaches in place that run the same styles and same philosophy as the parent club. Just like Major League Baseball has with it's Minor League teams.
Living in Metro Atlanta I have to ask how long until we get a Southeast Division!?! So many good Double-A baseball cities here that could support expansion.
http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/basketba ... pme/nj8qJ/
I think this is a general assumption. Maybe there is something preventing it? I noticed that most of the teams now own their own D-League team are located in a close drive from the affiliate. Maybe the Hawks and other Southeasten teams are holding off until they can get a local based team.
Why buy a team and locate it to say California or Texas when you cant easily move players back and forth and have management go watch them on off days.
As far as having teams previously in the southeast, the D-League is much different now than it was then. They have grown a lot. They are continuing to grow. In the first years, teams would never have their players go down and rehab or send their rookies back and forth. Back then a trip to the D-League was a sign they don't plan on having you back.
That was a terrible launch on at least the marketing front. I'm not sure how the NBA expected teams to locally market different colored NBA logos. They took the time to choose team names and colors, and then just saddled them with the NBA logos in those colors. One of the stranger things I've seen from an organization that should have known what it was doing.
Current D-League Teams with one to one affiliates
Canton Charge/Canton, Ohio/Cleveland Cavaliers (1 hour drive)
Delaware 87ers/Newark, Delaware/Philadelphia 76ers (1 hour drive)
Westchester Knicks/White Plains, New York/New York Knicks (30 minute drive)
Austin Spurs/Cedar Park, Texas/San Antonio Spurs (1.5 hour drive)
Oklahoma City Blue/Oklahoma City, Oklahoma/Oklahoma City Thunder (same city)
Los Angeles D-Fenders/El Segundo, California/Los Angeles Lakers (30 min drive)
Santa Cruz Warriors/Santa Cruz, California/Golden State Warriors/ (75 minute drive)
As far as I can see these are the only teams that do not share affiliates and all are 1.5 hours away or closer to the parent club. Just playing match maker and to back my point of the need of a Southern Division here is what I would like to see.
Atlanta-Gwinnett or Chattanooga or Birmingham
Orlando-Jacksonville or Tampa
New Orleans-Baton Rouge or Mobile
Charlotte-Winston Salem or Fayetteville or Raleigh
Memphis-Little Rock or Nashville
And as a side note, thanks for including my town Winston-Salem in your list. Im pretty sure we could put 2,500 to 3,000 folks in the seats if we got a team.
I will differ a little on your point about D-League players not coming into the lineup immediately. In the Hawks case they wanted Payne to have the playing time he needs so in the event they need to call him up he can step right in. This is probably the case more for talented rookies in the D-League than the classic 10 day veteran contract players we have seen in previous years. This does however hold true in baseball as well but only at different levels. You would see the talented player drafted and then normally sent directly to a Single-A or maybe Double-A team for a college player. While your veteran players are typically on the 40 man roster and in Triple-A.
WS would be a nice place for a team. The teams in the southeast originally selected were not the right choice. I am sure if the league had it to do over again they would have picked different cities. Columbus, GA for example could not even support a Single-A baseball franchise.
In staying with the content from the AJC article I posted. I think these young players are better served playing on a daily basis in the D-League instead of being the 14th or 15th man in the rotation. I would also say someone like Seth Curry who has an affiliate that runs the same offense as the his NBA parent club would have an easier transition if called up.
This Season's Scoring Leaders
Seth Curry 2nd Season
Jabari Brown 1st Season
JaMychal Green 2nd Season
Bryce Cotton 1st Season
Second of all, if I was a rich 100 millionaire, I'd approach the NBA about purchasing 4-5-6 franchises find 4-5-6 mid-sized markets and start the franchises with the goal of selling them to a NBA franchise in the near future. I think that is what needs to happen if the league is serious about expansion.