Eight NBA teams don’t have all that much to do right now. While 22 squads are posted up in Orlando for the league’s Disney bubble, the remaining eight franchises are sitting at home, with players working out at facilities but otherwise sitting and waiting for things to ramp up ahead of the 2020-21 season.
A proposal that went around several months back was for a bubble league-type situation for those eight squads, which would give them a chance to compete and prevent too much rust to build up before next season tips off. However, a new report by Shams Charania of The Athletic indicates that we may not get to see this come to fruition.
As Charania reports, there is a sense of pessimism about both a second bubble and in-market minicamps where group workouts would occur. It would be a massive undertaking for the league, one that would occur as COVID-19 cases are spiking nationwide.
At its core, with most of the eight teams having shared concerns about the impact of players going all these months without doing development work and five-on-five action, this is a question of risk vs. reward. Yet while there had been extensive discussion about the idea of scrimmages in a possible second bubble being televised, the possible upside of that business element is paltry compared to the revenue generated by the forthcoming playoff action in Orlando (as The Athletic reported previously, approximately $900 million in national television money alone). The dangers, meanwhile, are more concerning than ever as the coronavirus continues to spread across America.
The eight teams are Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Golden State, Minnesota, and New York. If nothing is worked out that would give these players a chance to do anything beyond small workouts, and the league is able to tip off its next season sometime in December as it hopes, then those squads will go nine months between the end of their 2019-20 campaigns and their next games.