The Nets will return to the D-League next season, as long speculated.
The team is expected to announce the news and the team name --the Long Island Nets-- Friday, prior to the Nets-Lakers game at Barclays, an NBA source tells NetsDaily.
Brett Yormark hinted at the news Thursday at the groundbreaking for the Coliseum renovation, saying there will be a "major announcement" Friday regarding professional basketball at the arena. The Nets would be the 22nd NBA team to have a D-League affiliate.
The NBA source added that the team will play its first season at Barclays Center, then move in 2017-18 to the renovated Nassau Coliseum. Mikhail Prokhorov's ONEXIM Sports and Entertainment recently closed on a deal to purchase a controlling interest in Nassau Events Center, the entity that is rehabbing the 40-year-old venue.
Although details have to be fully worked out, said the source, there is the possibility that the Long Island Nets and the Brooklyn Nets will play some double-headers at Barclays next season.
The Nets will own the Long Island Nets outright. A second source says the Nets are paying the NBA a fee of $6 million to rejoin the D-League. That's the same as the Knicks paid the NBA to set up the Westchester Knicks, who play at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY.
The Nets had a so-called "hybrid" affiliate D-League team for three years in Springfield, Massachusetts, but two years ago, the owners of that team, the Armor, sold out to a group of businessmen from Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Grand Rapids Drive is now a Pistons affiliate.
In addition to the hint of the D-League announcement, the press release accompanying the groundbreaking noted that the Nets will play one preseason game each year at the Coliseum. Presumably, so will their D-League affiliate.
- Nets getting a D-League team to move into Nassau Coliseum - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets getting their own D-League affiliate - Dan Feldman - NBC Sports
Nets To Announce D-League Team "Long Island Nets" - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Nets To Formally Add D-League Team For 2016/17 - Chuck Myron - Hoops Rumors
- Nets to Stick D-League Team on Long Island - Chris Creamer - Sports Logos