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In accordance with the NBA, the NBA Development League will implement a rule change with regard to how D-League rosters are assembled. Beginning this season, up to three players cut last from the roster of an NBA team before the D-League Draft will be allocated to that team's D-League affiliate provided they sign the standard D-League contract.
This rule replaces the previous allocation rule, where players of local significance would be allocated to D-League teams, a rule that was designed to help with marketing but didn't increase the team's bond with the NBA like the new allocation system should.
"The new allocation process is a big change and it will alter our league drastically," said one D-League coach, speaking to FanHouse on the condition of anonymity as the rule change has not yet been officially announced by the league. "Very often, the best players in the D-League attended training camp with an NBA team. It's great from an NBA team's perspective since the players they like, and want a longer look at, can stay with their affiliates."
This, perhaps, is the thinking of the Portland Trail Blazers who have invited 20 players to training camp despite having the NBA-maximum 15 players with guaranteed contracts already on their roster. Despite not having room on the roster currently, the Blazers will probably try to shuttle a few of these players to their D-League affiliate Idaho Stampede in order to keep an eye on their continuing development.
"For the D-League, allocation now becomes as much or more important than the draft," the coach continued. "Teams that have a close NBA affiliation will have an advantage year in and year out, but if your affiliate NBA teams have open roster spots in a given year, they will attract some of the best available free agents so there can be a lot of luck involved."