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Nets D-League team to be called "Long Island Nets," will play first at Barclays Center, then Nassau Coliseum

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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.