How the D-League Can Become the NBA’s Next Big Thing

September 6th, 2014 by Grant Hughes Leave a reply »

The NBA Developmental League has come a long way since its creation in 2001, and it has the potential to go even further in the coming years.

There's plenty of work to be done, and the changes necessary will be closer to overhauls than tweaks. But rest assured: The D-League is, appropriately, developing.


The Thunder Roles

More than any other NBA team, the Oklahoma City Thunder use their D-League squad as a training ground—a true minor league affiliate that allows talent (both on the floor and on the bench) to mature rapidly. Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb are the most obvious examples of success, as both cut their teeth in Tulsa and are now key players for OKC as it heads into the 2014-15 season.

The Thunder also recently handed the reins of that Tulsa squad (the Thunder's D-League affiliate, which it relocated to Oklahoma City this past summer) to 29-year-old Mark Daigneault in August. If he's anything like the men who preceded him in that position, he'll quickly parlay it into a much bigger job.

Per Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman:

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