The D-Fenders coach is…

I’m guessing not a lot of people had Marquette assistant coach Dan Panaggio in their pool. The contract still has to be finalized, but Panaggio is going to be the first coach of the Los Angeles D-Fenders. He’s a father of five with tons of experience coaching in the CBA. He also has a future of running the triangle offense ahead of him.

The way it’s been explained to me, the D-Fenders will be treated no differently than any other NBA Development League team, even though they will be owned and operated by the Lakers. The Lakers can assign the rookies or second-year players from their roster to the D-Fenders, up to two at a time. But the Lakers won’t necessarily be able to direct players they like (just not enough to sign) to the D-Fenders.

There is a league-wide draft before the season; last year’s No. 1 pick was Andre Barrett. After that, all players head into a central pool in which any D-League team can put in a claim, much like a waiver wire. The Lakers might be able to protect a player who has a regional tie, but that could be complicated because Anaheim and Bakersfield also are home to D-League teams.

Even before that, players have to decide whether they are best served playing in the D-League or overseas. The top salary in the D-League is about $30,000 a season. Some players can make two or three times that a month in Europe.

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