Commissioner for the Day: Expand D-League rosters

Kevin C. Cox

SBNation asked all the NBA bloggers what they would do if they were Commish for the day. Here's my proposal.

A growing trend in the NBA is the practice of "stashing" players overseas. Typically a second round pick is tied to an NBA team (they own his rights) but if that team doesn't have room on their 15 man roster, they have the option of not signing him. Then the player has limited choices. Either pick a team overseas or pick up a (typically much smaller) contract to play in the D-League as a free agent.

Why not expand the NBA roster to include optional spots for D-League only. It would be the equivalent of red shirting because they wouldn't be eligible for the full year (there may be exceptions). Still, the team could develop them in their own system and keep close tabs on him right here in the U.S. of A. I'd make a rule that these D-League players' salaries would not count against the cap, but you can only have 3 of them. You could still have guys on the 15 man roster that could bounce between the NBA and D-League.

This would have to be collectively bargained of course, but I think the Players Union would love to increase the pool of players making money without taking money or roster spots away from existing NBA players (yet). The GMs and owners would be able to develop more of a true farm system.

Guys like Colton Iverson, Dionte Christmas, and others would still have access to the Celtics resources instead of trying to learn Chinese or find their way around Turkey. Complicated buyouts wouldn't be a problem. Plus, the talent level in the D-League would raise dramatically, thus giving the developing players a better taste for bigtime competition.

What do you think? Any holes in my plan? Any improvements or counter-options you can suggest?

What about if you were the Commissioner for the day. What would you change?

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