The NBA has made a rule change that potentially moves its Developmental League one step closer to being a true minor league system. This rule change gives teams the opportunity to send players that were cut in training camp to their D-League Affiliate.
Allocation Rule Change Strengthens NBA, D-League Affiliate Bond - NBA FanHouse Scott Schroeder
In accordance with the NBA, the NBA Development League will implement a rule change with regard to how D-League rosters are assembled. Beginning this season, up to three players cut last from the roster of an NBA team before the D-League Draft will be allocated to that team's D-League affiliate provided they sign the standard D-League contract.
So for example, The Hawks have 14 players with guaranteed contracts for this season. They have invited 17 players to camp with Evan Brock, Richard Delk, and Ricardo Marsh coming to camp with non guaranteed deals. If the Hawks like what they see from these three players then they could choose to allocate them to their D-League Affiliate, the Utah Flash, even after being cut from the final roster. The only catch would be that those players would have to agree to join the D-League by signing a standard contract and possibly forgoing more money overseas.
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Personally I think this is a good move by the NBA although it is still not perfect and may have some adverse effects on some D-League teams. It does give the NBA affiliates more options in keeping players around that they are interested in. It could adversely effect the D-League if not all of the NBA teams buy into the idea. Some D-League teams will get some very good players that were cut in camp and some won't. That will slightly alter the playing field in the D-League.
How will this effect the Hawks? The Hawks to this point have had very little interaction with their D-League affiliate although it is possible that second round pick Pape Sy could see some time in Utah this season. I'm not sure if the Hawks have any interest in possibly sending any of this year's camp invitees to the D-League for observation but lets look at last year's camp roster as an example. Garret Siler and Courtney Sims would have been possible candidates to be allocated to Utah as players that the Hawks might have wanted to keep around.
The system isn't really perfect as the Hawks affiliate being located in Utah is less than convenient. This is however a step in the right direction as the NBA teams should have more influence on those D-League rosters than they have in the past.