The Orlando Magic and Erie BayHawks will announce in May a single-partner hybrid affiliation between the NBA and NBA D-League clubs, reports Jeff Zillgit of USA Today Sports, citing "people familiar with the news."
According to Zillgit, the Magic will control the BayHawks' basketball operations department, while Erie's ownership group will run the team's business side.
The Magic's NBA D-League affiliate for the 2013/14 season is the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, a partnership it shares with five other NBA clubs. The complicated travel logistics between Orlando and Indiana, as well as the Magic's inability to control the team's coaching and management style, made the possibility of using the D-League unappealing and unviable. "Distance is an issue," said Alex Martins, the Magic's CEO, in October. "It's too far away."
The Magic have not made a secret of their desire for control of a D-League club: in October, a report suggested the Magic wanted the D-League to expand to Jacksonville.