The Chicago Bulls have become the 13th NBA team to fully own and operate a D-League affiliate.
The D-League and the Bulls announced Wednesday that the franchise’s bid for sole control of a new team has been approved. The yet-to-be-named Bulls team will begin play in 2016-17.
The team’s home games will be played at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, a northwest suburb of Chicago.
“Establishing an expansion NBA Development League franchise is a significant step forward for the organization,” Bulls president and COO Michael Reinsdorf said. “We continuously look for opportunities to promote the game of basketball, extend the reach of the Bulls brand and deepen our integration with our surrounding communities. There are so many great Chicago Bulls fans in the area, and we look forward to engaging in new ways with families, schools, nonprofit organizations and businesses in the Northwest Suburbs.”
When the team debuts in 2016, it will become the 22nd D-League squad.
“We’re extremely excited for the valuable investment the Bulls are making by owning and operating an NBA D-League franchise,” said executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson. “While it will ingrain our brand more deeply in the surrounding communities, it will also strengthen our team on the court. Our younger players will have a place close to home to grow and mature while playing within a developmental platform that is consistent with Bulls basketball.”