NBA planning 8-team second bubble in Chicago
The eight teams not invited to the NBA’s season restart in Orlando, Florida, could be getting together to scrimmage in a second “bubble,” per a new report.
According to Adrian Wojnarwoski and Jackie MacMullan of ESPN, the ball is rolling for a Chicago site for the teams not invited to compete in the end of the regular season and subsequent playoffs in Orlando.
The NBA is closing in on signing off on a second “bubble” in Chicago for the eight teams that were not invited to play in Orlando, enabling mini-training camps and subsequent games against other clubs with a target date of September, sources tell ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 2, 2020
Training camps and games could be played by these eight clubs by September, per Wojnarowski. On July 30, the NBA will kick off the season resumption with the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz playing each other and the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers meeting. The eight teams that were not in range to make the playoffs and not invited to Orlando include the Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors, and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Since the NBA and NBPA approved of a plan to restart the season, several teams have expressed interest in getting together to scrimmage; the league’s suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic started on March 12, and if the 2020-21 season started in December, that would give players and teams a nine-month layover from competition.
The NBA has already pushed back the draft and lottery, which will take place in October and August, respectively. Between now and then, these non-playoff teams could get together in a new “bubble” so an almost calendar year is not wasted sitting at home amid the ongoing public-health crisis.