The Times
  • NBA: D-League season opens Friday; Ellis still on Vipers' roster 

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  • NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA Development League opens its 13th season Friday with 17 teams, its most ever.
    The Delaware 87ers are the lone new entry and the affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers. They are one of 14 teams that is singly-affiliated with an NBA club, including new partnerships between the Miami Heat and Sioux Falls Skyforce, and Sacramento Kings and Reno Bighorns.
    There are seven games on the opening-night schedule. Defending champion Rio Grande Valley opens Saturday. Former Herkimer County Community College General Akeem Ellis was still on the Vipers’ roster Thursday afternoon with the deadline for final cuts looming. Ellis, who played at Division I Coppin State after leaving Herkimer, scored 11 points in 17 minutes in a Nov. 15 exhibition game against the Texas Legends.
    NBADL teams carry 10 players on their active rosters with openings for two reserves. Rio Grande Valley had 14 players listed on its roster online.
    There have already been three players called up from the NBA’s official minor league this season: Diante Garrett by Utah from Iowa, Dewayne Dedmon from Santa Cruz to Golden State, and Lorenzo Brown from Springfield to Philadelphia. Also, 11 NBA players have been assigned to their NBA D-League affiliate so far.
    YouTube will broadcast more than 350 D-League games this season.
    Times sports editor Jon Rathbun contributed to this report.
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