The Orlando Magic and the Erie BayHawks announced Monday a hybrid, single-affiliation partnership between the NBA and NBA D-League teams. The BayHawks' current ownership group, led by aluminum magnate Steven J. Demetriou, will continue to run the team's business side, while Orlando will take control of Erie's basketball operations.
"We are looking forward to a mutually beneficial partnership with the BayHawks," Magic CEO Alex Martins said in a press release announcing the partnership. "We feel this hybrid relationship will further assist our efforts in regards to developing NBA talent, while providing Erie with a team they can be proud of."
The Magic's hybrid affiliation with the BayHawks is the eighth of its kind. Orlando becomes the 16th NBA team to have a one-to-one D-League affiliation.
In the 2013/14 season, Orlando shared with five other NBA clubs an NBA D-League affiliation with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Because they had no say in the Mad Ants' basketball operations, the Magic did not use that affiliation to their advantage.
Jeff Zillgit of USA Today Sports reported in April the news of the pending partnership between Orlando and Erie. The BayHawks formerly affiliated themselves with the New York Knicks, but New York ended that partnership when it opened its own D-League squad, also called the Knicks, in Westchester, New York.
The Magic had reportedly expressed an interest in the D-League's expanding to Jacksonville. According to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, the D-League likely won't expand to the Southeast for another "several years."