The Orlando Magic and the NBA Development League announced that the Magic has agreed to purchase the Erie BayHawks and intend to relocate the team to Lakeland, Fla., to begin play for the 2017-18 season. The anticipated relocation of the NBA D-League team also includes the future development of a practice facility in nearby Winter Haven, Fla. With the purchase, the Magic becomes the 17th NBA team to own and operate an NBA D-League affiliate.
“Today's announcement not only shows the continued growth of the NBA D-League but also enables the Magic to develop players close to home and provides fans in Central Florida the opportunity to watch top NBA prospects compete,” said NBA D-League President Malcolm Turner. “I’m thrilled to welcome the Magic as NBA D-League owners, and I want to thank Steve Demetriou and Owen McCormick for their leadership in Erie.”
“When we started this process, our goal was to have our NBA Development League team closer to home, and the perfect fit for us was the City of Lakeland,” said Magic CEO and NBA D-League Team Managing Partner Alex Martins. “Having our D-League team in Lakeland gives us the best opportunity to continue developing our young players and extend the Orlando Magic brand across Central Florida.”