How the D-Fenders will be built

What’s the difference between the ultimate Lakers fans and everybody else? They get excited about the prospect of an NBA Development League expansion draft in the coming month for the D-Fenders.

That will be the first step for the Lakers’ new minor-league affiliate in building a roster. No date has been set for the draft, but the D-Fenders can select players from the D-League teams that have folded (Fayetteville, Florida and Roanoke) as well as players left unprotected by current teams.

They probably will sign four of those players and bring them to D-League training camp in November. They also will be able to sign two players of regional significance and one player from a local tryout camp. And there will be a 10-round draft in late October or early November after NBA training camps end.

That should leave the D-Fenders with a roster of 16 or 17 players for their training camp.

The Lakers also will be able to assign the rookies and second-year players from their roster to the D-Fenders, up to two at a time. They used the minor-league system twice last season, sending rookie guard Von Wafer to their affiliate in Fort Worth, Texas.

One sidenote: Even though the Lakers will own and operate the team, the D-Fenders players will be treated no differently than their counterparts around the league. That means any other NBA team could sign a D-Fenders player to a 10-day contract beginning in January.

So don’t get too attached to your D-Fenders’ star next season. He could be a Clipper before you know it.

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  • LakerKev

    Perhaps they’ll send Farmar and Bynum to play with the D-Fenders to get some experience.