The Dakota teams are well-run franchises, but don't seem like the markets the NBA wants. You could say the same of Boise.
Eventually, I think the NBDL will end up with more teams like Broomfield. Gary would be a natural fit in the NBDL too, being close to a couple NBA teams. Markets like Albany (though the Pats weren't asked to join, and are currently not interested), Sherveport, and Scranton come to mind. Close to NBA teams without a lot of major D1 basketball.
Mix in a few markets in suburban parts of LA and a couple other big cities, have a loop that emphasizes divisional play, and you have something.
Three five-team divisions: Eight games in division, two games against everybody else for a 52 game schedule without outrageous travel costs.
I do tend to agree that this might be where the NBA should go. In the interim, however, they need the Dakotas to resemble a stable base. The concept has to take hold before it can take off.
I hear they are doing a special one day event in May in Richmond. I think if they did a circuit tour in the summer it would be huge. With ANY level of serious marketing it would outdraw hockey and basketball.
As to the D-League, yes, I'm afraid the Roanoke and Fayetteville teams are likely out without at least 3 teams out east. I'd wish to hell they would get a team in Buffalo and/or Elmira.
Owners shouldn't look to buying a D-League team out east unless the NBA was willing to get more eastern teams. They should wait on lower level leagues (I said leagues, not circuses like the ABA).