NBA Lockout To Begin Friday: Buying The Dakota Wizards Could Look Even Better For the Golden State Warriors

Well, there's going to be a NBA lockout beginning at 12:01 EST on Friday, as most reasonable people unfortunately had to expect.

We could obviously begin with choice words for the owners, who are simply not being that reasonable, as articulated well by SB Nation's Tom Ziller earlier today. Larry Coon provides an even-handed analysis of the financial nuts and bolts of the situation that seems to further support the notion that the owners are being unreasonable, but also that both sides need to keep on striving until they reach a middle ground.

But we don't have to dwell on all that or have a MBA to acknowledge a simple truth about this situation: it sucks, for all involved.

Thankfully, Golden State Warriors fans have something to redirect energy to during these dark days without watching future bench warmers light it up in Las Vegas: buying the Dakota Wizards on the Tuesday before a lockout is looking a lot more prudent in light of today's news.

Regardless of how long this lockout lasts the D-League will go on, as Scott Shroeder of Ridiculous Upside describes.

How Will The NBA Lockout Affect The D-League? - Ridiculous Upside
In short, the D-League will not be affected as the league has approached all questions with a 'business as usual' answer. The games will be played, the players will be paid...Unfortunately, the D-League's talent level probably will be down next season. If the lockout lasts too long, more players on the fence will opt for Europe's higher salaries considering the biggest upside of the D-League -- earning an NBA call-up -- won't be a possibility.

The problem is that nobody on the Warriors roster can play for the Wizards, including unsigned rookies. Shroeder suggested on Twitter that the Warriors' rookies could technically sign with the Wizards, thus giving them a structure to work within. But even if that doesn't happen, Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle describes the value the D-League might have to the Warriors and the three other teams that own D-League teams.

Warriors new D-League team creates continuity
The Warriors could use the Dakota squad as their own pseudo summer league or training camp, a place for intriguing prospects to show their wares as the contracted players are locked out of the Oakland facility. No players on the Warriors' roster, including unsigned rookies, can play for the Wizards until an agreement is reached.

Although it's obviously unfortunate that their new rookies cannot showcase their talents and work with the D-League team this summer, owning the team, putting a staff in place, and being able to develop talent while everything else is at a standstill could be used to the Warriors advantage as Simmons describes in his article.

We don't know if, how, or when a D-League squad might translate to wins. But the whole point of owning a D-League team is that it's a developmental apparatus. And with nothing else to do with Warriors operations, ownership can dedicate more time and energy to laying a strong developmental foundation up in Bismarck, North Dakota and perhaps working out the logistics of moving the team to the Bay Area, which has obvious fan benefit during this period and into the future.

That is what having ownership dedicated to building a strong organization looks like. A D-League team might not have been anything to party in the streets about on Tuesday, but long-term it's a structure that can help the team develop future coaches and players in a manner consistent with what will best help the Warriors find greater success in the future.

Even if you don't care about the D-League, it's impossible not to acknowledge today that it was a good investment for the Warriors future and perhaps one day we'll look back on this year's lockout and see the D-League as a competitive advantage.

Is this thinking a little idealistic in the face of a terrible situation? Possibly.

But it's also a chance to appreciate that we now have owners running this organization who act as if they care, to the extent that they're willing to spend money to do everything in their power to make this a successful franchise.

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