Tulsa 66ers take Idaho Stampede's spot as Sonics' D-League affiliate

TULSA, Okla. -- In the midst of the SuperSonics' bid to relocate to Oklahoma City, the team's NBA Developmental League affiliate was moved to Tulsa on Wednesday.

The NBA announced an expansion and realignment of the minor league circuit, including a change that will associate the Sonics with the Tulsa 66ers instead of the Idaho Stampede. Tulsa will continue to serve as the minor league club for the Milwaukee Bucks, but no longer will be linked to the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks.

The announcement comes five days before a federal trial is to begin on SuperSonics owner Clay Bennett's bid to break the team's lease in Seattle and move to Oklahoma City.

The D-League will add franchises in Erie, Pa., and Reno, Nev., for the upcoming season, for a total of 16 teams. It will be the first season that D-League teams will be allowed to affiliate with only two NBA teams. The Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs own their own D-League franchises, while each of the other 14 D-League teams are tied to two NBA teams apiece.

The Reno D-League team will be affiliated with the New York Knicks and Sacramento Kings, and the Erie franchise will be linked to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers.