The Kings have enjoyed a close relationship with their D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns, for a few years now. One of the first things Vivek Ranadivé did upon becoming owner of the Kings was to strike up a deal with the Bighorns for single affiliation and the agreement to run the basketball side of things. Now the Kings are looking for more control, as Sam Amick reports that the Kings are going to be buying the controlling interest of the team to run it from top to bottom.
Operationally this means the Bighorns are no longer just an affiliate of the Kings but part of the team’s brand now. Amick indicated at first that this could mean the team would move closer to Sacramento after next season but shortly after he broke this news he tweeted this:
And...one more: Kings strongly indicating no current plans to move the Reno Bighorns after next season. That is all...— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) October 20, 2016
I know we have some loyal Kings fans and Bighorns followers that live in Reno, so that news will likely come as a relief. It’s also not exactly a trek to get from Sacramento to Reno at only about a two hour car ride.
Sam also adds that the Bighorns plan on playing some games in Sacramento this season too, which will be nice for those people who don’t often get to see the Bighorns play and also might be a great opportunity for fans to see some of Sacramento’s own rookies in action. The Kings have 3 rookies on the roster as of now, and all of them seem to be good candidates to play serious minutes with the Bighorns. Those games in Sacramento might be the best chance we get to see those rookies in action this year.
All in all, this seems to be a good thing, as the Kings will now have even more control of their development system, and hopefully they’ll put it to good use.