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Cavaliers Purchase D-League Team

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Thursday it was officially announced that the Cleveland Cavaliers managed to purchase the New MexicoThunderbirds D-League franchise and plan to move it to Canton, Ohio. The D-League has provided a lower level of basketball competition for players not quite ready for the NBA. Notably, players like Christian Eyenga and J.J. Barea have spent significant time in the D-League before making their NBA debuts. 

In the past, the Cavaliers had shared a D-League affiliate with the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers, but Dan Gilbert opted to buy a franchise exclusively for the Cavaliers. There had been rumors that the team would be located in Youngstown, but it appears that those were mere speculation. The Canton franchise is slated to begin play in 2011-12. The Cavs will own and have full control over both the business and basketball aspects of the franchise, becoming the 5th NBA team to have singular ownership of a D-League team. 

You can read the official report here. If you read that link, you will see the following paragraph at the bottom:

The Cavaliers are inviting fans to submit their team name suggestions starting immediately at www.CantonNBA.com. Fans can also follow the new Canton franchise, @NBACanton, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CantonNBA.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CantonNBA.com

Apparently Dan Gilbert doesn't link the idea of calling the team the "Canton Thunderbirds," so be sure to send your ideas for names to them and leave them in the comments on this post as well.