Usefulness of the minor leaguePosted by Inside Hoops
The Sacramento Bee (Scott Howard-Cooper) reports: Seven seasons after the NBA started the D-League as a training ground for all levels, from management and referees to players and coaches, the Lakers and San Antonio Spurs remain the only franchises to run their own affiliate. No matter how logical it seems for the development of first-round picks and other well-regarded hopefuls, the 28 other organizations, including the Kings, share assignments and have no authority to dictate the critical decisions of hiring coaches, distribution of minutes or the style of play. “I think it is a big advantage (for L.A. and San Antonio),” Timberwolves general manager Jim Stack said. “They’re running all their stuff. They can kind of control it how they want to control it, where we may be able to influence it, but we don’t control it. There’s that level of difference between those two things.” … That 29 of the free agents have been signed this season indicates the D-League is serving a purpose for players who would otherwise be scattered around smaller minor leagues and overseas. But the unmistakable trend of the parent clubs keeping top young players in the NBA, even with limited minutes, rather than sending them down, raises speculation that some front offices don’t trust the affiliate.