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NBA Draft Players Rights and the D-League


A recent SLCDunk article announced that Marcus Paige, Quincy Ford and Eric Dawson were being cut from the Jazz preseason team. That announcement prompted a fan discussion that crossed over into the topic of NBA draft players rights and what happens to those rights once a player is cut from the team.

The general opinion was that once an NBA drafted player signs an NBA contract — even a preseason one — and is then cut from the team, the team loses all rights to him even if he eventually signs with their D-League affiliate.

That discussion peaked my curiosity and I decided to do some research to try to answer the question. What I found leads me to believe that the Jazz can in fact keep the rights to their drafted players, via their D-League affiliate.

The following comes from the NBA Developmental League website.

The "draft rights player" rule allows NBA D-League teams to directly acquire players on their NBA parent club’s draft list, bypassing the usual NBA D-League player selection processes, including the NBA D-League Draft and the in-season waiver wire.

NBA teams can utilize this rule by declining to sign a drafted player to an NBA contract and instead having him sign a contract with the NBA D-League. A player’s status as a draft rights player supersedes any other NBA D-League player rights — meaning he will automatically play for the NBA team’s minor-league affiliate.

For the full article go to: http://dleague.nba.com/news/nba-dleague-draft-rights-players-antetokounmpo-huestis-christon-alec-brown-thames-mcrae/

Simply put, the above rule is designed to protect an NBA team from having their drafted players, whom they've stashed on their D-League affiliate, from being called up and signed by another NBA team.

However, the counter-argument being made was that since the player drafted by the Jazz had already signed an NBA contract, they would lose their draft rights to him when he was cut from the team — even if he was eventually signed by the Stars.

But it seems that is not the case, according to this SI.com article.

The NBA has increased the number of players that teams can cut from their training camp rosters and still hold onto their D-League rights, a league spokesman told SI.com. The change was initially installed prior to the 2014-15 season.

NBA teams can now waive four training camp invitees (up from three) and make those individuals "affiliate players," providing the player signs a D-League contract. The two sides typically discuss a potential D-League allocation while negotiating training camp contracts as well.

The process allows players to avoid entering the D-League draft pool and provides franchises with exclusive D-League rights to those players. However, if a team does not own the players’ NBA rights via the draft, the player is available to sign an NBA contract with all 30 teams.

For the full article go to: http://www.si.com/nba/2015/07/22/nba-training-camp-d-league-cuts-roster-rights

Due to the above two articles, I'm of the opinion that the Jazz can in fact hang onto the rights for Marcus Paige and Tyrone Wallace should they decide to do so. What do you think?

I'd love to hear any comments or information you might have on the subject.

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.