The NBA Development League today announced that the Philadelphia 76ers have purchased the right to own and operate an NBA D-League team that will play in Newark, Delaware.  The new team will be the single-affiliate of the 76ers, and will play at the Bob Carpenter Center on the campus of the University of Delaware.  Tipping off for the start of the 2013-14 NBA D-League season, the team will be known as the Delaware 87ers.

“We’re thrilled to work with the 76ers to bring NBA D-League basketball to Newark and the state of Delaware,” said NBA D-League President Dan Reed.  “Having a record 12th NBA team invest in their own NBA D-League team shows our development system for top NBA prospects is working, and highlights the league’s continued growth. We’re very excited to share our world-class brand of basketball, affordable family-friendly entertainment, and community engagement with all Delawareans.”

The name 87ers was chosen for the team in recognition of Delaware being the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution in 1787, and the team will be referred to as the “Sevens,” a nod to the parent club being referred to as the “Sixers.”

“The creation of the Delaware 87ers is an important milestone in our quest to ensure that the Philadelphia 76ers are viewed in all respects to be a world-class and cutting-edge NBA franchise. We believe that the ability to own and operate our own NBA D-League affiliate will strengthen our player development and other team initiatives, and be a tremendous asset to the entire Sixers organization,” said Sixers Managing Owner Josh Harris. He continued, “We are particularly excited that we can situate the team in the welcoming, nearby state of Delaware, especially since there are so many Delawareans who already are avid 76ers fans.”

The 76ers have purchased the rights to operate the former Utah Flash, which has been on hiatus since the end of the 2010-11 NBA D-League season.  The team becomes the 17th NBA D-League team, and the 12th to be singly affiliated with an NBA team.

Of the 12 NBA D-League  teams with single affiliations, the 76ers join five other teams which are fully owned and operated by their NBA parent club, including the Austin Toros (San Antonio Spurs), Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers), Los Angeles D-Fenders (Los Angeles Lakers), Santa Cruz Warriors (Golden State Warriors) and the Tulsa 66ers (Oklahoma City Thunder).  An additional five teams have a hybrid relationship with their NBA parent club, including the Erie BayHawks (New York Knicks), Idaho Stampede (Portland Trail Blazers), Maine Red Claws (Boston Celtics), Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston Rockets), and Springfield Armor (Brooklyn Nets).  The hybrid partnership gives an NBA team control of the NBA D-League team’s basketball operations while local ownership retains control of the business.  The Texas Legends have a one-to-one relationship with the Dallas Mavericks.