Tatum Reiterates NBA's Plan For Each Team To Have Dedicated D-League Affiliate
NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum reiterated the league's plan to have each of its 30 franchises become affiliated with its own D-League team. Speaking at Monumental Sports & Entertainment's first "Partner Summit" in DC Thursday, Tatum said he expects the number of D-League teams to grow from 18 to 30 "at some point." "Our NBA teams are realizing the true value of having development teams with a purpose of taking some of these young players and truly developing their talent," he said. "They're also understanding the value of taking the business staff and coaches and general managers, who are getting exposure to professional basketball at the minor league level." Tatum pointed to Wizards F Marcin Gortat and Rockets G Jeremy Lin as two examples of NBA players that had stints in the D-League. "There's now an option for players who otherwise would have gone overseas and played internationally to play right here in the United States." Tatum said the NBA uses the D-League to develop and train referees, as well.