By Brian Murphy
The NBA's Portland Trail Blazers will take over control over basketball operations for the NBA Development League's Idaho Stampede beginning with the 2012-13 season, the teams announced Tuesday at a press conference in Boise.
The Stampede signed a three-year single-affiliation agreement with the Trail Blazers. Portland will handle everything on the basketball side of the organization — like coaches, trainers, scouting — while the Stampede's local management group handles the business side of the franchise.
Portland's Bill Branch, the team's assistant general manager, said current Stampede coach Randy Livingston would have the opportunity to interview for the job, but that the Blazers will conduct a national search.
"We're going to develop people, not just players, but coaches and future management people," Branch said.
Idaho is the 10th D-League franchise to move to a single affiliation model. D-League teams with a single affiliate — as opposed to three, like the Stampede had last season — were six of the eight playoff teams in the league this season.
"You're going to see a younger, faster, smoother game," Stampede managing investor Bill Ilett said.
Idaho has been affiliated with Portland for the last five seasons. Since joining the D-League in 2006-07, the Stampede have had at least two NBA affiliates each year.
2006-07: Utah, Seattle
2007-08: Portland, Seattle
2008-09: Portland, Toronto
2009-10: Portland, Denver
2010-11: Portland, Denver
2011-12: Portland, Denver, Utah
The 10 NBA teams with single affiliation:
Los Angeles Lakers (L.A. D-Fenders)
San Antonio Spurs (Austin Toros)
Oklahoma City Thunder (Tulsa 66ers)
Cleveland Cavaliers (Canton Charge)
Golden State Warriors (Dakota Wizards, moving to Santa Cruz, Calif.)
* NBA team controls basketball operations, but does not own team or run business side
Portland Trail Blazers (Idaho Stampede)
Houston Rockets (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
New York Knicks (Erie Bayhawks)
Brooklyn Nets (Springfield Armor)
Dallas Mavericks (Texas Legends)