For more on the Mad Ants, follow Reggie Hayes on Twitter at www.twitter.com/reggiehayes1
The Mad Ants' NBA ties are expanding.
Already affiliated with the Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks, the Ants now have a direct line with the Charlotte Bobcats. The four NBA teams will use the Mad Ants as a place to send young players for further development.
It has worked in the past, as evidenced by strong play last season by Vernon Macklin, who was assigned to Fort Wayne by the Pistons. Macklin is now a free agent.
“We are so happy to have the Bobcats join the Bucks, Pacers, and Pistons as our affiliates," Ants president Jeff Potter said in a released statement. “The Bobcats are a young and improving team, and we look forward to working with them to help both our franchises in the future.”
The NBA announced its affiliations Tuesday, with every NBA team having one D-League team it can utilize during the 2012-13 season.
"The D-League has always been a valuable resource for our organization and we look forward to our new affiliation with Fort Wayne," Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins said.
The D-League had all-time highs in NBA player assignments (67) and individual players assigned (44) from their NBA parent clubs last season.