According to Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY Sports, the Orlando Magic will acquire a NBA Development League team.
The Orlando Magic plan to enter a single-affiliation hybrid relationship with the NBA Development League’s Erie BayHawks, people familiar with news told USA TODAY Sports. They requested anonymity because the deal has not been finalized.
The BayHawks had a hybrid relationship with the New York Knicks until the Knicks decided they wanted to own and run their own D-League team in nearby Westchester County, N.Y.
Orlando has wanted to run a D-League team, and when the Knicks ended their relationship with Erie, the Magic began talks with BayHawks ownership.
via Orlando Magic get D-League affiliate in Erie BayHawks | USA TODAY Sports
Prior to acquiring the Bayhawks from the Knicks, the Orlando Magic shared the Fort Wayne Mad Ants with several teams including the Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, and Charlotte Bobcats. Recently, the Magic called up forwards Dewayne Dedmon and Adonis Thomas on 10-Day contracts from Fort Wayne.
As the D-League gains more notoriety, teams are looking for single affiliates in order to develop players, coaches, and front office personnel. An example of that is Joey Buss, the second youngest sibling of the storied sports family. Instead of forcing him into the Los Angeles Lakers front office immediately, he spends time working with the Los Angeles D-Fenders as the CEO, prepping himself for whenever he takes over for Jim Buss as a primary decision makers in the Lakers organization.
With players, it’s pretty evident. The Houston Rockets have used the D-League to turn both Patrick Beverly and Terrance Jones into NBA starters, working them through the D-League and awarding them for their progress. With a bright future ahead for the Orlando Magic, this method could be used, turning possible league flame-outs into key rotation players as they work to return to the NBA playoffs for the first time since Dwight Howard was traded. The Houston Rockets are also known for getting their affiliate create an offense similar to that of their host team. That means lots of layups and three-pointers for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
While it may sound weird, it prepares all involved for what’s expected when working with the NBA.