Los Angeles Clippers Narrowing Down D-League Locations
The Los Angeles Clippers are making plans to enter the NBA Development League as early as the 2018-19 season, multiple sources tell D-League Digest. There are no immediate plans for the franchise to add a D-League team for the upcoming 2017-18 season.
Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com first reported the team’s D-League location decision is likely to come next year, as the D-League looks to announce as many as three new teams by NBA All-Star Weekend.
Where will the team be located? According to a league source, the Clippers are exploring several cities as possible destinations for their next NBADL affiliate.
A league source said among the cities the team is interested in hosting their D-League franchise include Long Beach, Anaheim, and San Diego.
Howard-Cooper also reported San Diego was in the mix as a future destination for the Clippers’ D-League affiliate.
@ch1efke1th Don’t know anything definitive. But someone from another team said SD is a possible for the Clippers.
— Scott Howard-Cooper (@SHowardCooper) January 22, 2017
The Clippers have history in San Diego, having been their first home in California after relocating from Buffalo, NY when they were previously named the Buffalo Braves. The Clippers called San Diego home from 1978-84.
The D-League also has history in Anaheim, hosting the Arsenal from 2006-09 then moved to Springfield, MA to become the Armor. That team was sold and moved to Grand Rapids, MI in 2014 where it has been known as the Drive since.
The team is still in the exploratory phase and no final decision has been made. Where could the team be located in these cities? Though nothing has been confirmed as far as facilities, possible sites include the Long Beach Convention Center, the Anaheim Convention Center (previous home to the Anaheim Arsenal), or the Valley View Casino Center, home to the San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League, as well as the San Diego Sockers of the Major Arena Soccer League.
What about Bakersfield? According to a source there is an outside shot the Clippers could use the former home of the Bakersfield Jam, given the site is ready and primed for D-League use, but it seems the team wants to see if they can find a solution closer to their own facilities, and Bakersfield would appear as a fallback if no other site can be obtained.