The Atlanta Hawks joined 22 other NBA teams by officially acquiring a D-Laegue affiliate team on Wednesday, per Chris Vivlamore.
Hawks will purchase and run D-League team in College Park. Will begin play in 2019. Details to come.
— Chris Vivlamore (@CVivlamoreAJC) November 9, 2016
He also mentions that a new arena will be built. This is big news for a basketball team who prides themselves on player development. In the past, the Hawks have had to assign players to various D-League affiliate for assignments. Having their own club allows them to keep a closer eye on potential bench depth pieces and young players while allowing them to play in a similar system to Coach Bud’s. The Hawks have been notorious for stashing players overseas in recent years so it will be interesting to see if this alters their player development plans.
This is obviously a no-brainer for a team that seemingly sees its players improve with every passing season. The Hawks have built the best teams in franchise history using the model they are currently using now, and having this affiliate can only enhance the process.
Having the team play in College Park also allows the team to send players on more assignments, as it’s a close drive. It is similar to how the Atlanta Braves switched the Richmond Braves to the Gwinnett Braves, except it is even closer to the team.
This is a great move by the Hawks, and hopefully by 2019, they will be having a lot of guys picked in the late 20’s on frequent D-League assignments.