After the NBDL franchise in Fayetteville, N.C., folded, the Pistons have been without an official minor league affiliate for the past month. That recently changed, though, as the Sioux Falls Argus Leader is reporting that the Pistons and Timberwolves will be affiliated with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, one of the old CBA teams recently absorbed into the NBDL:
The Skyforce will be affiliated with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons as part of their membership in the NBA Development League, team owner Greg Heineman has confirmed.
The partnership with Minnesota was trumpeted in April, when Sioux Falls announced it was leaving the Continental Basketball Association to join the D-League beginning in 2006-07.
But the connection with the Pistons adds a new wrinkle for local fans, especially since Detroit coach Flip Saunders worked the Skyforce sideline in 1994-95.
"I requested that we be affiliated with Detroit (in addition to the Timberwolves) - and Flip was a big part of that," Heineman said. "This allows us to maintain a connection with him."
Under current rules, NBA teams are allowed to send up to two players to their farm team. Alex Acker and Amir Johnson spent part of their rookie seasons with Fayetteville (which was also affliated with the Knicks and Bobcats), giving the two youngsters an opportunity for actual game action they never would have received hanging out in street clothes behind the Pistons bench on the inactive list.
T-Wolves, Pistons to supply Skyforce [Argus Leader]