Nets insiders say the team is discussing a plan to assume control of the Springfield Armor, their D-League affiliate. It'd be used not only to develop players for the big league team, but to help fill Mikhail Prokhorov's promise to develop Russian basketball talent. Al Iannazzone writes it could be announced next week when Prokhorov assumes control of the Nets.
While details are sketchy, the Nets could take control of the Armor in one of two ways: an outright purchase of the two-year old franchise, or simply taking over basketball operations in a so-called "hybrid affiliation". The first option is the more expensive. The Lakers, Spurs and Thunder own their own D-League team and the Rockets operate Rio Grande Valley under the "hybrid affiliation" model.
The NBA team must make a three year commitment, which equates to a potential investment of $1.2 million. The NBA picks up the team's travel costs. The "hybid affiliation" would also permit Prokhorov to bring in basketball managers, including coaches, trainers and operational staff. "Russian players, though, aren't really an option," Scott Schroeder of Ridiculous Upside explains in an email. "Teams retain the rights to returning/local players with the rest of the roster filled out via draft at the beginning of the season". Schroeder notes there is one Russian player in the D-League, Yaroslav Korolev, a 6'10" forward who once played for Prokhorov's CSKA Moscow.
- NBA Development League: Springfield Armor - D-League
- What the New Jersey Nets Buying the D-League's Springfield Armor Could Mean - Jon L - Ridiculous Upside
- Nets Taking Control Of The Springfield Armor? - Sebastian Pruiti - Nets Are Scorching
Nets Considering Takeover of Armor - Matt Moore - FanHouse