Wolves again searching for new NBA D-League affiliate


For the second consecutive offseason the Minnesota Timberwolves are searching for a new NBA D-League affiliate.

The Iowa Energy, the Wolves partner last season, announced Tuesday they would enter into an exclusive one-to-one partnership with the Memphis Grizzlies beginning in the 2014-15 season.

As part of the deal, the Grizzlies will hold their training camp in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Energy is now the 14th team in the NBA D-League to have a one-to-one relationship with an NBA affiliate.

The agreement means Memphis will be the only NBA team affiliated with the Energy and will have full control over the team's basketball operations.

The Wolves were forced to look for a new affiliate last year when the Sioux Falls Skyforce signed an exclusive partnership with the Miami Heat.

The Timberwolves made use of their relationship with Iowa last year, when they sent rookie Shabazz Muhammed to Iowa for four games and called up Orthyus Jeffers near the end of the regular season.

FOX Sports Net reports the move leaves only two D-League organizations without a one-to-one partnership with an NBA club. That means unless the Timberwolves front office decides to put together a D-League team of their own, they will join forces with either Fort Wayne Mad Ants or the Bakersfield Jam next year.

According to FOX Sports Net, Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders has discussed the idea of one day forming a new D-League team – maybe in Mankato or Rochester – to serves the Wolves needs, but so far no plans have been made.

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