Pelicans announce intention to operate own NBADL team in '18

NEW ORLEANS (AP) New Orleans Pelicans owner Tom Benson says he plans to own and operate a team in the NBA Development League.

Benson, who made the announcement Friday, says he's been impressed by the NBADL's growth and that the Pelicans' goal is to have their minor league club based ''in nearby proximity to our home base of New Orleans.''

The Pelicans say they're considering cities in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to host the new minor league club, which would be a direct affiliate of New Orleans' NBA franchise.

The team would begin play in the 2018-19 season, when the NBADL will be called the NBA Gatorade League.

The Pelicans currently are not among the 22 NBA clubs which have direct NBADL affiliates.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.