The New Orleans Pelicans are zeroing in on their NBA Development League team.
Team officials have started to schedule dates next week to hear presentations from the five finalists that submitted proposals from the original list of 11 candidates.
Five cities will make presentations to team officials: Baton Rouge; Jackson, Miss.; Mobile, Ala.; Pensacola, Fla.; and Shreveport.
After evaluating the proposals and consulting with NBA officials, the Pelicans hope to select an affiliate market by the fall. The Pelicans plan to debut their new team, which will be owned and operated by Pelicans owner Tom Benson, in the 2018-2019 season. For the 2017-18 season, the league will be rebranded as the NBA Gatorade League.
Shreveport will make its presentation on June 8. The other candidates are in the process of finalizing dates with team officials.
Shreveport officials announced last week a plan to build a $25 million multi-purpose sports complex along the downtown riverfront that would include an arena that would serve as home to the D-League franchise. Last week, the Caddo-Bossier Port Commission voted 5-4 in support of Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler’s proposal to bring the Pelicans to Shreveport.
A Shreveport location would establish a much-needed foothold in north Louisiana for the Pelicans-Saints organization.