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Peter May reports:

Two of the top movers and shakers of the NBA's D-League were in Portland, Maine, Thursday and got the red lobster treatment from the city's top officials, who hope to land a D-League franchise. The proposed team is being financed by Bill Ryan (of TD Banknorth fame) and his son, and hopes to be up and running for the 2009-10 season, with a link to the Celtics. Still to be determined is where the team will play, but the group's application has been in for months and all signs look promising. The NBA is looking to get some D-League franchises in the East for its Eastern teams, which would certainly help the Celtics, whose current D-League affiliate is in neighboring Orem, Utah. Other possibilities in the East for D-League teams include Harlem, Youngstown (Ohio), Trenton, and possibly a site outside Toronto for the Raptors. The Portland group, which also has K.C. Jones as a consultant, hopes to get the official imprimatur this spring.