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
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Zack Greinke expected to choose between Dodgers, Giants by end of week

Reports: David Price, Red Sox agree to seven-year, $217 million contract

LSU officials’ media leaks about Les Miles blew up in their faces

Sam Bradford returns to practice, but does it matter for broken Eagles?

Cam Newton won’t be ‘lured in’ by talk of undefeated season

Report: Miami job is Mark Richt’s 'if he wants it'


WATCH: Cowboys’ security guard being investigated for choking Panthers fan

Mariners ‘trying hard’ to trade Mark Trumbo before Wednesday’s tender deadline

Bill Belichick: Patriots always looking to improve win or lose

NFL: Refs did not blow calls on Ravens' blocked FG return

Roethlisberger: I’ll play through any injury but a brain injury

LeBron James feels ‘kind of sad’ about Kobe Bryant retiring

Tiger Woods’ career inches closer to an end after gloomy injury update

WATCH: LSU releases video to honor Leonard Fournette

Report: Jim Hackett’s tenure as Michigan’s interim AD is ending

Josh Norman pretends to be a movie character each game

Ex-Giants OL Chris Snee 'wanted to see the Jets lose all the time'

Kyle Long gives Bears tickets to trash collector who found wallet

Last of a dying breed: Kobe's retirement marks end of an era

Are the Houston Rockets looking to trade Ty Lawson?

Anonymous agent: Lakers have 'no plan and no leadership'

LeBron on never facing Kobe in Finals: 'I didn't hold up my end'

Jerry Jones expects Tony Romo to start another five years

Devon Still announces that daughter is cancer-free

Ranking college football conference title games

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Tiger Woods’ career inches closer to an end after gloomy injury update

QUIZ: Name every NCAA football national champion since 1950

Browns lose to Ravens as only the Browns know how

NCAA figures out how to invite 5-7 teams to bowls

Ranking top Heisman Trophy candidates

Have the New Orleans Saints given up?

This weekend in NFL stupid, ft. Rex Ryan

Missouri won’t accept a bowl bid at 5-7

Durant blasts media on behalf of Kobe

Josh McCown laments how he got job back from Manziel

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker