LAS VEGAS – The Timberwolves are switching their D League affiliate from Sioux Falls to the Iowa Energy.
The Wolves haven’t used their affiliate much historically — mostly just for injury rehabs with Jonny Flynn and Malcolm Lee in recent years — but Flip Saunders said he’d like to use it to develop young players more if possible.
The Wolves switched to a team in Des Moines after Miami developed an exclusive relationship with the Skyforce in South Dakota.
Chicago, New Orleans, Denver and Washington also will use Iowa as its D League team when its first- or second-year players need playing time or if a player is coming back from injury.
In a perfect world, Saunders said the Wolves would have their own D League team in Rochester or St. Cloud, for two reasons: It would allow them to pick a coach who runs the same systems as the NBA club and it would allow players to easily practice with the Wolves in the afternoon and play in the D League at night.
Iowa is the best they can do for now, the closest team in the 17-team D League.