The LA Clippers are working toward introducing their new NBA Development League franchise as the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Clippers are closing in on an announcement that would establish Agua Caliente Casino Resort — one of the club’s most prominent sponsors at the NBA level — as the title sponsor of the club’s looming D-League affiliate in a unique naming arrangement.
Ontario, California, is roughly 50 miles away from Los Angeles, which would enable the Clippers to assign and recall players whose D-League rights they hold on an expedited basis.
The Clippers’ new affiliate, sources said, is scheduled to join the D-League next season and take the developmental circuit to 26 teams overall, advancing its larger quest to establish one affiliate for all 30 NBA teams as soon as possible.
The D-League will also become known as the NBA Gatorade League, or NBA G-League, starting next season.
Clippers coach and president Doc Rivers, when meeting last week with local reporters in the wake of L.A.’s first-round playoff exit, said of the Clippers’ D-League ambitions: “We will have a team, I can tell you that. We are committed to it. The work is in.”
ESPN’s Andrew Han contributed to this report.