According to reports from Hornets beat writer Rick Bonnell from the Charlotte Observer, and reports from the Greensboro News & Record, the Charlotte Hornets have decided to choose Greensboro as the home of their new NBA Development League(D-League) franchise, which will begin play in the 2016-17 season.
The team is expected to make a formal announcement at a news conference on Tuesday to discuss the details of the Hornets selection of Greensboro as the home of the new D-League franchise.
In previous seasons, the Charlotte franchise have shared a D-League affiliate with one or more NBA teams(last season’s affiliate was the Fort Wayne(IN) Mad Ants). In recent years, the trend of having NBA teams owning a D-League franchise has become the norm, with teams geographically nearby. The purpose of the NBA D-League is to have some young players develop their talent there efficiently.
“We view player-development as critical.” said Fred Whitfield, President and COO of Hornets Sports and Entertainment back in May, when the organization announced it’s intentions to start a D-League franchise. “We think this is a great opportunity for our basketball people to have complete autonomy and control of how that part of the business is run. We see it as a great opportunity to keep growing our brand regionally.”
Back in May, the Hornets announced its plan to own a D-League franchise, and Asheville, Fayetteville, and Greenville(S.C.) were selected as finalists, along with a handful of other cities in North and South Carolina.
Nine teams in the NBA, with Indiana most recently becoming the owner of the D-League team in Fort Wayne, own and operate their own NBA D-League franchise, while eight other teams fund and run basketball operations, with a local promoter running the business operation. One example is the Texas Legends, which is owned by Donnie Nelson, the general manager of the Dallas Mavericks.