Report: Pelicans launching G League affiliate in Alabama
The NBA is continuing to expand the reach and influence of the G League. The latest move to happen on this front includes the New Orleans Pelicans and their decision to launch a G League affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN writes:
New Orleans is launching a G League affiliate in Birmingham, Ala., league sources tell ESPN. Team will start play in Erie, Pa. next season until renovations are complete on arena in Birmingham
This brings the G League to 28 teams total. The only NBA teams without an affiliate in the G League are the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers, though the Nuggets are close to getting their own team.
The Pelicans’ G League team won’t have the luxury of convenience with their G League team until they officially make the move to Birmingham. Most NBA rosters have their G League teams nearby in the event they need to call up a two-way player or sign someone off the G League roster.
Teams like the Knicks and Nets have their teams located in nearby Westchester in Long Island, making life easier on the organization from a logistical standpoint.
The G League is becoming akin to a minor league system for the NBA and will be interesting to watch the league develop in the coming years. It’s a wise investment by the NBA and could lead to excellent things for the league and its players.