Skip to content

D-League showcase could move to Vegas; not expanding next year

Tim Cattera / National Basketball Association / Getty

Las Vegas is slowly becoming the home of aspiring NBA players.

Already the host city for the NBA's Summer League each July, a fun two-week event aimed to get young roster players and would-be NBAers additional run and exposure, Sin City may soon become the home of the annual D-League Showcase.

The event takes place over one weekend each season and is designed to provide exposure for players in the D-League once NBA teams can sign players to 10-day contracts. This year's event was this past weekend and took place in Santa Cruz, Calif., a logical destination since they're the home of the Santa Cruz Warriors.

Vegas isn't home to a team, but that may not matter, according to D-League commissioner Malcolm Turner:

It's one that we're exploring. It's too early to say whether or not that is a strong possibility, but I think there are a lot of reasons why we would find it an attractive market to go to. Obviously that would work counter to … our teams hosting the Showcase. But Vegas is an interesting market for a lot of reasons.

With NBA summer league in Vegas, we've had very good and strong experiences in Vegas. And certainly logistically and infrastructure wise, clearly that's an easy box to check versus potentially some of the markets where we're playing the D-League clearly there are some logistical hurdles. Las Vegas is set up to host big and significant events. That takes a lot of that (those hurdles) off the table.

The move would make sense and could work to make the showcase even more of a destination for those in NBA circles.

Also of note coming out of the showcase weekend was that Turner said he expects the D-League to expand, but not next season. The league has 18 teams, with 17 NBA teams locked in to exclusive one-on-one affiliations, either by direct or hybrid ownership. With 13 NBA teams left to share a single affiliate, at an appreciable developmental disadvantage, it's surprising the league isn't going to be more aggressive in its growth.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox