Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 6/13/13
MINNEAPOLIS The Minnesota Timberwolves will take at least a year to make any long-term decisions on the future of their minor league basketball ties, team president Flip Saunders said Wednesday. The organization's former NBA D-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, announced earlier in the week it'd be teaming up exclusively with the Miami Heat. At the moment, that leaves Minnesota without an official location to send its players to either gain professional experience or rehab from injury. But the Timberwolves aren't in a rush to make any permanent resolutions. "We're gonna evaluate it through the year and see what we do," said Saunders, who coached the Skyforce (then a member of the Continental Basketball Association) in 1994-95 before taking over as Minnesota's head coach. "Right now, I want to scout the league a little bit more for a year before we decide if we want to do anything either way." In agreeing to take over basketball operations and ownership of the Sioux Falls team, the Miami Heat became the 13th NBA franchise to enter into a one-to-one D-League relationship. Four D-League teams remain to be utilized by the NBA's other 17 teams, including the Timberwolves. There'd been talk of Minnesota and Sioux Falls forming a hybrid alliance, based on their geographic proximity and Saunders' history with both teams. But that idea officially fell through Monday. It's conceivable Minnesota could enter into a one-year agreement with either the Iowa Energy, Bakersfield Jam, Fort Wayne Mad Ants or Reno Bighorns all of whom are still affiliated with multiple NBA teams before looking back into a hybrid affiliation similar to the one just forged between the Heat and the Skyforce. There's no hurry, though, especially considering the Timberwolves called up a total of two players from Sioux Falls during the teams' time together. "It's tough to justify trying to buy a hybrid when we really haven't seen that league that much," Saunders said. In a perfect world, every NBA team would have its own, exclusive D-League affiliate, similar to hockey and baseball. But with a 17-team, 12-year-old minor league trying to make a name for itself, expansion is tricky. "We're never gonna get to that as a league," Saunders said, "where you're gonna have it one-to-one and everyone that you have on your (D-League) team you're gonna have their rights. That won't happen. This is what we're left with, and it's worked out for some teams." A look at this year's NBA Finals says as much. Spurs swing man Danny Green spent time in the D-League between stints in Cleveland and San Antonio and is playing in his fourth Finals. His teammate, point guard Cory Joseph, may see an expanded role in Game 4 on Thursday depending on the status of Tony Parker. Heat forward Chris Andersen began his career in the D-League, too. It's for that reason there's a good chance Saunders and his staff will make more use of the D-League than the previous front office regime spearheaded by David Kahn. "You have to do it," Saunders said. "There's one thing: in that league, those are pros. Those are guys that are borderline pro players, NBA players, so many of those guys, you've got to spend money to scout them, because some of those guys are more ready to play than the college guys." Follow Phil Ervin on Twitter
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Geno Smith ‘kind of pissed off’ about Ryan Fitzpatrick’s return

Bell admits he knew about missed drug test, lied to media

Report: Chargers rookie Joey Bosa to hold out of camp

Doc Rivers blames ‘bloggers’ for Blake Griffin trade rumors

Jason Peters: Eagles practiced too much under Chip Kelly

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Giants’ Victor Cruz cleared to practice

PETA sends Warren Sapp vegan lobster following shark bite

Report: Josh McCown has looked better at times than RG3

Mike Trout does David Ortiz impersonation

Suspended Steelers WR Martavis Bryant set to help coach HS football

Tickets for ‘Monday Night Football’ game in Mexico sell out

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

Five NFL teams set to underachieve in 2016

WATCH: Belichick gets annoyed by Jimmy Garoppolo question

Ronda Rousey denies being pregnant despite rumor

Eight most overpaid offensive players in NFL

Giants acquire All-Star Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

Vikings QB injured trying to kick open door

Josh Gordon thankful for support from Browns

Report: Seahawks DE Chris Clemons retiring

Denard Robinson blames falling asleep at stoplight for pond crash

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker