Monday, January 23, 2017

Grizzlies to bring expansion D-League franchise to Southaven

Posted By on Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 2:42 PM

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The Grizzlies (via Grind City Media) have announced that they'll be bringing an expansion franchise of the NBA Development League to Southaven's Landers Center next season. From the report:

The yet-to-be-named affiliate is scheduled to launch for the 2017-18 season and will play its 24-game home schedule at the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi, located about 20 miles south of the Grizzlies’ franchise base at FedExForum in downtown Memphis. The team is expected to make a formal announcement on Tuesday.

The news that the Minnesota Timberwolves were taking over current Griz affiliate the Iowa Energy broke first, which led to some confusion. Iowa will be operated solely by the Wolves next season.

This move makes a lot of sense on many levels. First, it brings the D-League operations to the same metro area as the Grizzlies, which makes it easier to send down and recall players, makes it easier for the coaching and development staffs to collaborate, and fits much better with the Grizzlies' efforts to market themselves to the whole region. It's not a "regional" play the way putting a team in Nashville or Jackson or Little Rock would be, but putting the team in one of those cities would take away the benefit of having everybody under one roof.

Griz minority owner and Energy Managing Partner Jed Kaplan will stay in both roles in Iowa, with Energy GM Chris Makris joining the new Memphis team along with current Energy interim coach Glynn Cyprien.


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