The Detroit Pistons will have a new tool at their disposal this year with their affiliation to the new Grand Rapids NBA D-League team. The team will play their games in close by Walker, Michigan, and will be closely modeled after the Pistons.
The D-League is expanding, and can be a great asset for teams that use it properly. The key is to create universal concepts throughout both the Pistons and the Grand Rapids teams. Players should be learning the same basic concepts so they will be ready to move up and contribute at the NBA level. The Pistons haven’t hired a head coach as of yet, but it will definitely be someone with a similar style to Stan Van Gundy who can teach the younger guys properly.
The Grand Rapids team (No nickname has been announced yet) will give the Pistons a great chance to evaluate players. Instead of riding the bench in Detroit, players will be able to develop in the D-League. They will compete against other NBA talents every night, and we have already seen quite a few D-League success stories. Guys like Jeremy Lin, Gerald Green, Marcin Gortat, and Danny Green have all spent time in the D-League, and gone on to contribute for NBA teams in a major way.
The great part about the Grand Rapids affiliation for the Pistons will be the proximity to Auburn Hills. The Grand Rapids team will have a chance to get even more people in the area excited about basketball again. More people will get the chance to see professional basketball in Michigan, and that is definitely a good thing. Because who doesn’t want to say that they got to see the next Pistons star play for the Grand Rapids team and they knew he was going to be great?
The new D-League affiliation is definitely exciting for the Pistons, and for the area. There is a very real chance the Pistons first draft pick that they have this year (38th overall) will be spending some time playing for the Grand Rapids team.
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