In recent days, the NBA has reportedly been working towards an agreement that would bring the eight remaining teams not invited to Orlando into a separate bubble taking place in Chicago.
The idea is for these non-playoff teams to use this opportunity to give their younger players a chance to practice in a pseudo-training camp, as none of them have seen any live reps since mid-March.
Having such a long layoff could seriously hinder the development of these players, as next season isn’t slated to start until Christmas at the earliest — nearly a 9 1/2-month hiatus. If signed off on, the second bubble would take place sometime in September and would consist of a series of games between each team to help prepare for the 2020-21 season.
What We Know Right Now
Among these eight franchises include the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the New York Knicks. The Knicks were the only team that did not participate in a conference call to discuss the logistics of this plan, as they are currently undergoing rampant turnover within the organization.
During the call, the owners made it clear of their primary goal to ensure their young players can get back into the flow of game-type situations, as particular details of how the mini-season would be organized weren’t really dwelled upon. Many of these franchises are rebuilding their rosters; thus, their futures hinge on the development of these younger players who are eager to get back into the gym and train again.
Realistically, veterans like Steph Curry or Blake Griffin won’t end up playing in this bubble, but one general manager suggested that some veteran players may participate in some capacity. “I bet some veterans will show. These guys miss basketball. They’re itching to play.”
Before anything is finalized, however, executives would like to see how the Orlando bubble unfolds, as it will help shed light on any particular issues with the proposition.
This has the potential to go terribly wrong for the NBA, as many are viewing this as a “cash grab” of sorts to help nullify the significant revenue losses from this season. However, there’s definitely some merit to putting this plan into action, as it would be great for the players to start practicing together and start building chemistry for 2020 and beyond.
There is likely to be significant pushback over the next few days, but commissioner Adam Silver has made it clear throughout his tenure that he’s willing to push the envelope and evolve the game as he sees fit. The NBA has become incredibly adaptable and open to change under his guidance, and this is just another example of him thinking outside the box to do what’s best for the league.
Basketball fans everywhere should appreciate his transparency and creativity during such uncertain times, as nearly everything’s been on the table since the league announced its indefinite postponement back in March.