The Cavaliers have purchased their own NBA Development League team and will move it to Canton before the start of next season. The team made the announcement today at the Canton Civic Center, where the home games will be played.
"This gives us an opportunity to run the same systems, have the same defensive principles, use the same vocabulary and have the same type of culture," Cavs General Manager Chris Grant said. "From a proximity standpoint, this is fantastic. A player can practice with us in the morning and play that night (in Canton) and it doesn't disrupt what's going on."
The D-League is the equivalent to Triple-A baseball or the Lake Erie Monsters, which is the minor league hockey affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche. The Cavs previously had an agreement with the NBADL's Erie BayHawks. Now they are purchasing the franchise previously located in New Mexico and moving it to Ohio. They are promoting the D-League games as family friendly, with season tickets starting at $5, and they will bring the same type of in-game entertainment presently used at Cavs home games.
The Cavs become the fifth NBA team to own their own D-League franchise and the ninth to have an exclusive relationship with a D-League team. There are presently 16 franchises in the D-League spanning the country from California and Nevada to Texas, Oklahoma and Maine.
"This is really an NBA product," D-League Commissioner Dan Reed said. "I think fans here will be really pleased and excited when they have a chance to come to the first game, see the entertainment, see the high caliber of basketball on the floor and have an excellent season."
The team is encouraging fans to submit suggestions for the team's new nickname at www.CantonNBA.com. Regardless of the current lockout in the NBA, the D-League will begin on time in November, Reed said. Players who played in the NBA last season and Cavs rookies Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson are presently ineligible to play in the D-League because of the lockout.