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The Suns will once again have a G League affiliate, targeting 2024-25

Mat Ishbia is stacking W’s at every turn.

Northern Arizona Suns vs Windy City Bulls Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/NBAE via Getty Images

A G League affiliate is in the future for the Phoenix Suns, and while it might not be until next season, the addition will ensure every team in the NBA has a developmental team. The Suns, who sold their G League team to the Detroit Pistons in 2020, were the only team without a minor-league affiliate.

The rumors of Phoenix once again having a G League team began when new owner Mat Ishbia took the reigns in February, commenting that, “having a G League team seems to make a lot of sense... we are going to have one, because that’s the right thing to do to develop talent, to be able to build it. We gotta make it so it’s close to Phoenix, so therefore, they send the players up and down.”

Time passed, the Suns hit some absolute dingers as it relates to the reimagining of their roster, and we didn’t think much of a developmental team. Summer League reminded us, however, that there is a ton of talent and you want to keep it close by, if at all possible.

Ishbia returned from Las Vegas and, when interviewed on the Burns & Gambo Show on Arizona Sports 98.7FM earlier this week, hinting that, “That won’t be something you’ll be talking about in a week or two, how about that?”.

Honk your horns, stomp your feet, celebrate in Arizona. It’s now official: The Suns are launching a G League team once again.

Mat Ishbia released his statement to The Athletic, stating the following:

“Bringing a G League team to the Valley has been a priority for us, and I am excited that we have begun the process and the wheels are in motion to have a team in Phoenix as early as the 2024-25 season. Not only will this allow us to develop young players within our winning culture, but also will serve as an opportunity to expand our reach and connect with even more basketball fans across the region.”

“This investment further strengthens our connection with the community and continues to elevate Phoenix as the epicenter of basketball.”

All the Sarver did has been undone. Well, minus the irreparable mental anguish that he put those who worked for him in through a toxic work environment filled with racist and misogynist culture.

Some might not spend much energy or excitement at the prospect of having a G League team. It’s rare that developmental players truly make an impact on the big league club. Unless you’re the Miami Heat. Or Jordan Poole. Who cares, am I right?

I’m in the “I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it” camp.

Despite James Jones shying away from the NBA Draft and avoiding any player who would be deemed “a project”, the organization — and all organizations — should invest in development. Over the past few seasons, the team has done this, even without a G League team. Current Suns’ players Ish Wainright and Saben Lee who have developed, albeit out of necessity as the team was critically injury throughout the 2022-23 season.

Having a minor-league team allows players like Lee and Wainright to get much needed playing time. Instead of signing two-way players to deals and having them sit and slap KD’s ass when he comes off the court, have them play development minutes and grow their basketball skillset.

The next question on everyone’s mind is where will this team be located? Will they once again play in the 5,100 seat Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, Arizona? Will they move closer and occupy space in a Phoenician suburb?

Plans are for everything to be in place prior to the start of the 2024-25 season, so we have an entire year to follow the breadcrumbs, make our predications, and suggest team names for the newest (and final) member into the G League.

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