By David Mayo | email@example.com
on October 05, 2013 at 5:30 AM
updated October 05, 2013 at 9:36 AM
AUBURN HILLS -- The Detroit Pistons have engaged in discussions about acquiring exclusive control of an NBA Developmental League team, Joe Dumars said Friday.
The Pistons' president of basketball operations was not specific about whom the team had negotiated with, where any such team would be based, or whether the pursuit focused on an existing or expansion franchise.
At issue is a trend toward single-affiliation arrangements between NBA and D-League teams that has created a structural imbalance for teams behind that curve -- including the Pistons.
Of 17 D-League teams, 14 will be exclusively affiliated in 2013-14 with a single NBA team which either owns the franchise or controls its personnel decisions.
The other 16 NBA teams divide affiliations among just three D-League franchises.
The Pistons' D-League affiliate, the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Mad Ants, also shares affiliations with the Charlotte Bobcats, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic.
Last year, Fort Wayne was affiliated only with the Pistons and Pacers.
That was before three more NBA teams bought existing D-League franchises since last season, and set up single-affiliation arrangements -- the Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and Sacramento Kings.
Besides Fort Wayne, the other D-League franchises affiliated with multiple NBA teams are the Bakersfield (Calif.) Jam and Iowa Energy, with five affiliations each.