Under new ownership for the first time in years, the Sacramento Kings seemed poised to end their reputation as a laughing stock. On Thursday, the team announced a new partnership that could be a sign of that change in culture.
For the first time in their history, the Kings will take over the basketball operations of a team in the NBA’s Development League by assuming control of the Reno Bighorns. The Reno franchise was a previous affiliate of Sacramento going back to 2008-2009, but they were never used in this “direct” manner, and this could be a tremendous asset for Sacramento.
There are only 7 teams in the NBA that currently operate NBADL teams in full, and with that, the Kings can treat Reno as their own personal minor-league franchise to stash “project” players and provide additional playing time to young guys while they develop under team control.
While it may not seem like a monumental shift, the simple recognition of the value of the D-League under the new regime (led by new owner Vivek Ranadive and new GM Pete D’Alessandro) is encouraging. With the Maloofs (finally) out, they can get back to what helped them build their success in the early 2000′s, and all signs point to some rejuvenation in Sacramento.