The Detroit Pistons had long desired having their Gatorade League affiliate team based in metro Detroit.
Vice chairman Arn Tellem described the Pistons’ move to purchase the Northern Arizona Suns, which will be rebranded and move to Detroit after the 2020-21 season, as the final step in a three-part vision shared by himself and team owner Tom Gores.
The first two steps were relocating the Pistons’ basketball and business operations from Auburn Hills to Detroit, which were accomplished by moving into the Little Caesars Arena in 2018 and opening the Henry Ford Pistons Performance Center last fall.
With the addition of the G League team, which will play in Wayne State’s new basketball arena that is in the midst of being constructed, Tellem said Pistons organization will be able to further amplify their community efforts within the city of Detroit. The organization also strongly feels the move will help in player development.
But what does it mean for the Grand Rapids Drive?
The Pistons’ current G League affiliate will maintain its relationship with its parent organization through the 2020-21 season. Beyond that, its plans are not clear.
The Drive could pursue a number of paths, each with their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a look on why the Pistons and Drive are parting ways, and what the future of the Drive could look like.