The NBA and its Development League announced on Thursday that the Wizards will now be affiliated with the Iowa Energy, nearly a week after the Golden State Warriors purchased the Dakota Wizards. The Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Hornets will also be connected with the Energy.
The Wizards had been affiliated with Dakota since the 2006-07 season. NBA teams are able to sent first- and second-year players to the D-League, which is considered the NBA’s minor league. The Wizards twice sent rookie center Hamady Ndiaye down for extra work last season.
The change isn’t surprising, since Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld intimated that they would be matched with up Iowa after the Warriors purchased Dakota. In the past two seasons, the Wizards have finished the season with players called-up from Iowa — Cartier Martin and Othyus Jeffers. D-League teams will compete next season, no matter what transpires with the NBA lockout, which went into effect last week.
Nine NBA teams currently have “one-to-one” agreements with D-League teams after the Cleveland Cavaliers purchased the New Mexico Thunderbirds and moved them to Canton. The other 21 NBA teams were forced to share affiliations with the seven other D-League teams. After the latest shakeup, only the Fort Wayne Mad Ants maintained the same three NBA affiliates as last season (Detroit, Indiana and Milwaukee).