Trail Blazers launch G League team in 2023-24, leaving only one NBA franchise unaffiliated

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By Webdesk

The Portland Trail Blazers announced Wednesday morning that the team will be launching a G League-affiliated team starting in the 2023-2024 season. The Blazers were previously one of only two teams in the NBA not to have a G League team, along with the Phoenix Suns.

The Trail Blazers’ G League team plays at the 4,852-seat Chiles Center on the University of Portland campus.

“It was very important for our organization to enter the G League with an affiliate here in Portland and to strategically strengthen our commitment to player development,” Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin said in the statement. the team. “I would like to especially thank Jody Allen, who has a line with Dewayne Hankins and myself, for making it a priority to get this team ready for next season as it will serve not only as a player development tool, but also for aspiring coaches and while continuing to be a mainstay in the community at large.”

The Blazers will announce the team’s name, brand identity, front office and coaching staff at a later date. With the Trail Blazers entering the G League, only the Suns remain as the only NBA team without a G League affiliate. Phoenix previously owned the Northern Arizona Suns, but sold the team to the Detroit Pistons in 2020 and the team is now called the Motor City Cruise.

Despite Phoenix being the oddball team here, G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim said at a news conference Tuesday that there is “hope” that all NBA teams will have G League teams by the 2024-25 season.

“I think there is motivation (with the new ownership of Suns) to have a G League team,” said Abdur-Rahim. “…By 2024-2025, I have a good feeling that we should be in a place where all NBA teams are represented in the G League.”

The relationship with the NBA and G League has grown over the years, especially with the creation of the G League Ignite team. The goal of the G League Ignite was to give high school students another option instead of going to college or playing abroad for a year before signing up for the NBA draft. Six former G League Ignite players have already been drafted, and ahead of the 2023 NBA Draft, Scoot Henderson is expected to be ranked No. 2 after playing for the G League Ignite.

Aside from that team, the G League has had several players come through their teams and become All-Stars and NBA champions. Khris Middleton, Pascal Siakam and Danny Green are all players who spent time in the G League before excelling in the NBA.

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