Earlier today, we broke the news that the Sixers were close to buying a team from the NBA Developmental League. After Sioux Falls and Bakersfield were ruled out, it seemed like Reno, Iowa, and Fort Wayne were the likely unaffiliated candidates to be scooped up by Adam Aron, Josh Harris, and Tony DiLeo. Well, it's come to light that it's going to be a team from left field -- a team that had last season suspended. The Utah Flash.
Last year, the owner of the Flash, Brandt Anderson (the douche who tried to get the Michael Jordan vs. Byron Russell one-on-one publicity stunt to happen) tried to sell the team to focus on his other businesses. His asking price was way high and nobody bit. So the team was suspended, all employees were let go, and the Utah Flash had been dark since losing to Iowa in the 2011 playoffs.
That likely ends now.
While Sioux Falls had no interest in moving from South Dakota, Utah has its bags packed and they've been waiting at the terminal gate for a year and a half. A move to Allentown, Trenton, Atlantic City, or wherever in the Tri-State area is not only likely, it's assumed.
Expansion of the D-League, at this time, is not an option. It would cost too much money and the teams that aren't directly affiliated don't feel there's enough incentive to expand. I think it's close, but at this point Utah was the only non-Sioux Falls team they could buy. If this goes through, which again all signs are pointing towards it happening, that would make 17 teams for the NBA's minor league, 12 of which have a direct affiliation with an NBA club.
I have no idea when this will be announced, but since the Sixers play the Utah Jazz tonight, I suppose there's a chance it could happen sooner rather than later. In the same vein, it would be quite unlikely that these hypothetical Allentown BillyJoels will be ready in time for this season. Next year seems more of a possibility.
For funsies, players on the Flash's last season in 2010-11 include Kevin Kruger, Rider's Ryan Thompson, Orien Greene, and the eminently underperforming Brandon Costner AKA Craig Brackins before Craig Brackins. I highly doubt any of those guys will be returning.
I am very excited about all this.