Monday, Warriors CEO Joe Lacob suggested he would be making a big announcement on Tuesday. But since you probably don’t want to wait, I found out what the announcement was early. Just for you.
As my colleague TK said, it’s not a trade or the new team president. But he still felt compelled to call it an “exciting” announcement. And I know what it is.
I’ll give you a hint: Bismarck, N.D.
Tuesday, the Warriors will announce they have acquired a team in the NBA Development League, according to multiple sources. The Dakota Wizards will be owned and run by GSW, LLC.
What, you don’t classify that as a big announcement? Me neither. Granted, it’s news worthy. But for a team that has, in the last month, hired Jerry West, hired Mark Jackson, fired Robert Rowell and drafted Mychel Thompson’s son and Jeremy Tyler, news about buying a D-League team hardly doesn’t register high on the excitement scale. Still, there is a noted advantage to owning, in essence, your own minor league team.
The Warriors will get to staff who they want in North Dakota and choose what type of system they will play. Since they have total control, they can dictate completely what their young players are taught, even how much they play.
The hope is to move the team to San Jose, but it probably won’t happen right away, one source said. Another source said the Warriors will explore multiple Northern California options. Either way, the team will stay in Dakota for at least a year.
The Warriors’ current D-League affiliate is the Reno Bighorns. Not sure yet if the Bighorns will stay Golden State’s affiliate for next season, whenever next season starts, or they will switch to the Wizards. Certainly would be better logistically for the the Warriors to send their youngsters to Reno instead of all the way to North Dakota.
But, eventually, the hope is the Warriors’ D-League affiliate will be in the Bay Area, likely San Jose.
The Warriors will be the fourth team to own an D-League squad. The San Antonio Spurs own the Austin Toros. The Los Angeles Lakers on the L.A. D-Fenders. The Oklahoma City Thunder own the Tulsa 66ers.
Four other teams have exclusive cooperation with a D-League teams — meaning the D-League squad is independently owned but has an agreement with only one NBA team. The Houston Rockets are the only NBA team affiliated with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Ditto for the New Jersey Nets and Springfield Armor, the New York Knicks and Erie BayHawks, and the Dallas Mavericks and Texas Legends.
NBA teams are allowed to send players to their D-League affiliate for development purposes while reserving their roster spot.