Pacers to announce ‘major’ deal with Fort Wayne Mad Ants

The Indiana Pacers have scheduled a press conference for Wednesday afternoon to announce a “major” deal with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, a team in the National Basketball Association's Development League.

Several media reports over the past month have said the Pacers are negotiating to buy the Mad Ants.

Citing unnamed sources, WPTA-TV Channel 21 in Fort Wayne reported Tuesday night that the Pacers have purchased the Fort Wayne team.

The Mad Ants, who won the D-League championship in 2014 and reached the league finals this year, are the only independent organization in the 19-team D-League.

While most D-League teams have exclusive affiliation agreements with one NBA team, the Ants have affiliations with a dozen NBA teams, including the Pacers and the Chicago Bulls.

An exclusive affiliation with the Pacers would leave 11 NBA teams without a D-League affiliate, a situation that could lead to rapid expansion of the D League to provide all 30 NBA teams with an affiliate.

Wednesday’s press conference in Fort Wayne is scheduled to include Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, Indiana Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird, NBA Development League President Malcolm Turner, Fort Wayne Mad Ants President Jeff Potter and Pacers Sports & Entertainment Vice Chairman Jim Morris.

Pacers officials haven’t commented on the potential for an acquisition.

Potter hasn’t confirmed a sale is in the works, according to The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne.


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