The Idaho Stampede and Utah Jazz announced a single affiliation partnership Tuesday, beginning with the 2014-15 season. The agreement, a "hybrid" affiliation, allows the Jazz to manage the basketball side for the Stampede with player assignments, coaching hires and system implementation. The Stampede will handle the local side with gameday operations and business dealings. Eight other NBA D-League teams have hybrid affiliations.
"Boise is a very important place for us," Jazz president Randy Rigby said. "I think when you talk about growth and development in this region, Boise and Salt Lake go hand-in-hand. It's a very natural fit from a community and a basketball standpoint, being able to move players easily and already having a fanbase here."
The Jazz played a preseason game in Boise in October and have previously held training camps at Boise State. The Jazz shared affiliation with the Stampede in 2006-07 and 2011-12. Idaho had a hybrid affiliation with Portland the last two seasons, but the Trail Blazers opted to end the agreement at the end of the 2013-14 season. Portland only assigned two players to Idaho last season for a total of eight games. Citing Utah's movement toward a young roster and three picks in this month's NBA Draft, the Stampede are hopeful that NBA talent often will be seen at CenturyLink Arena.
"I think they'll use it quite a bit more," Stampede managing investor Bill Ilett said.
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Part of the reason for that optimism is Utah general manager Dennis Lindsey, who was assistant general manager for the San Antonio Spurs from 2007-12. The Spurs' D-League affiliate, the Austin Toros, made the playoffs in four of the five seasons Lindsey was with San Antonio. Quin Snyder coached the Toros from 2007-10 and was hired as the Jazz head coach last week.
"When Quin was there, I think we led the league in call-ups," Lindsey said. "I anticipate, depending on the roster situation, that we use it a great deal, maybe not so much in other years. But if you look at it long-term, we plan on being in Boise for many years."
Though Rigby and Lindsey did not have a set timetable to hire a new coach for the Stampede, Lindsey said he is mindful of important dates such as the NBA's Summer League in July, where a new coach could get to know some of the players likely to be on his team. Ilett also said the Stampede's uniforms and logo may undergo slight tweaks next season to match the Jazz and likely will evolve further as the affiliation continues.