The NBA G League features an all-time high 30 teams, 28 single-affiliated with an NBA parent club. The league originally launched with eight teams in 2001-02.
The NBA G League is welcoming three new franchises for the 2021-22 season. The Detroit Pistons will debut the Motor City Cruise, who will play their home games in Detroit, Mich. At Wayne State Arena. The New Orleans Pelicans announced an expansion team in Birmingham, Ala., which played in Erie starting in 2019-20, and has relocated to Birmingham in 2021, following the renovation of Legacy Arena. Capitanes de Ciudad de México are also expected to make their NBA G League debut in 2021.
The NBA G League also welcomes the Denver Nuggets, who entered into a hybrid affiliation with the Grand Rapids Drive, who were formerly the affiliate of the Detroit Pistons.
Learn more about the changes and new teams:
Birmingham (New Orleans Pelicans): Debuts in 2021-22
Pictured: David Lane, GM of Business Operations for Birmingham
Announced: October 24, 2018 | Official Release
Location: Erie, Pa. (starting in 2019-20), Birmingham, Ala. (estimated 2021-22)
Home Arena: Erie Insurance Arena (beginning in 2019-20), Legacy Arena (estimated 2021-22)
Inaugural Season: 2021-22
Affiliate: New Orleans Pelicans
Motor City Cruise (Detroit Pistons): Debuts in 2021-22
Pictured: Rob Murphy, President and GM of Motor City Cruise
Announced: October 30, 2020 | Official Release
Location: Detroit, Mich. (starting in 2021-22)
Home Arena: Wayne State Arena (2021-22)
Inaugural Season: 2021-2022
Affiliate: Detroit Pistons
Capitanes de Ciudad de México: Debuts in 2021-22
Announced: December 12, 2019 | Official Release
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Home Arena: Gimnasio Juan de la Barrera
Background: Capitanes de Ciudad de México are a professional basketball team founded in Mexico City in 2016. They competed in Mexico’s Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional through 2020 and are expected to participate in NBA G League play for the first time in 2021.
Inaugural G League Season: 2021-2022
Grand Rapids Drive (Denver Nuggets)
Announced: April 25, 2021 | Official Release
Location: Walker, Mich.
Home Arena: DeltaPlex Arena
Affiliate: Denver Nuggets
NBA G League Expansion History