Will Canada support a domestic minor professional basketball league?
We're about to find out.
This morning in Halifax will come the announcement of the National Basketball League of Canada, an 8-12 team loop featuring teams in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario with plans to launch for the 2011-12 season.
It's confirmed franchises to date are three clubs that formerly played in the Premier Basketball League -- the Halifax Rainmen; the Saint John Mill Rats and the Quebec Kebs.
Other cities under consideration include London, Ont., Fredricton, New Brunswick, Oshawa, Ont. and Kingston, Ont.
The typical model would be for the teams to be secondary tenants for Major Junior hockey franchises.
The team salary cap would be in the range of $150,000 with the top players earning about $4,000 per month and the lowest-paid players about $2,000 per month; which would be comparable to what teams in the NBA's development league or lower level international pro league's typically pay.
Two or three roster spots would be reserved for Canadian players.