If the Magic get their way, the state of Florida will have a new professional basketball team, perhaps within the next several years.
The Magic want to have a “one-to-one” affiliation with an NBA Development League franchise that’s based within the Sunshine State. The Magic would like a “hybrid” agreement in which the Magic would run and pay for the D-League team’s basketball operations, while a separate ownership group would run the rest of the franchise.
But there are a few problems. There isn’t a D-League team in Florida at the moment. And there are at least several other NBA teams that are looking for a one-to-one affiliation with a D-League team.
Dan Reed, the D-League’s president, said D-League expansion is being discussed and will occur eventually.
“It will be carefully managed and hopefully an intelligent expansion process,” Reed told the Orlando Sentinel. “The long-run goal is 30 teams, where every NBA team has its own NBA D-League team. I can’t tell you exactly when that will happen, but I think we’ll get closer to that in the near future.”
Could an existing D-League team possibly relocate to Florida?
It doesn’t seem likely.
The D-League understandably likes to cluster some of its teams within the same region to help reduce travel costs and promote geographic rivalries. Currently, there are no D-League teams in the Southeast aside from teams in Texas and Oklahoma.
Estate planning move
The DeVos family, which owns the Magic, recently restructured how the ownership of the franchise was divided among the family members.
Although 87-year-old Rich DeVos remains the head of the franchise and the team’s governor, a percentage of the franchise was redistributed evenly to his four children. The restructuring was approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors, a league source said.
Dan DeVos, the Magic’s chairman and one of Rich and Helen DeVos’ sons, said the restructuring was done as an estate planning move.
He also said the restructuring is a sign that his family has no plans to sell the franchise.
“There’s no desire to sell,” he said. “In fact, as time goes on, there’s more engagement by the family at all levels. The second generation, for sure. The third generation is very excited about it. So it’s not a point that’s being discussed.”
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.