Eight teams left out of Orlando likely to get some run in Chicago

Sam Amico

Well, the eight teams not invited to resume the NBA season in Orlando may get their wish, after all.

And that, folks, would be another opportunity at some organized competition before the start of next season.

According to ESPN, the league is nearing a deal that would allow the Delete Eight some "mini-training camps and subsequent games" in Chicago. It would be a "bubble" scenario like the one in Orlando -- the idea being to keep everyone inside from getting or passing on the coronavirus that suspended the season in March.

The other 22 teams will be battling for playoff position and competing at Walt Disney World Resort at the end of the month. Everyone else has basically said, hey man, we can't be expected to wait until 2020-21 tips off (likely at the start at December) to play again.

If this idea is a go, it's likely to take place in September, ESPN reported.

"The details are still being hammered out, and teams continue to push for an alternative plan that would enable them to hold mini-camps within their local markets and to explore the idea of establishing regional sites where teams could scrimmage against each other," wrote ESPN's Jackie MacMullan.

The eight teams left out of Orlando that were out of the playoff picture in March -- the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Hornets, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks and Detroit Pistons.

“I think there are conversations that can be had about what, if anything, we can do with the eight other teams,” NBA players union executive director Michele Roberts recently told the Charlotte Observer. “I realize there are some players — particularly young players — who’d feel a concern they aren’t getting enough run.”

Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff and power forward Kevin Love have been among the outspoken proponents of playing somewhere in some form before the start of next season.

“Our expectation is that the league is going to let us do something,” Bickerstaff said June 9. “We are fighting, and I know there’s other teams too that are fighting to get something done.”

Love agreed that March-to-December is probably too much time away, all things considered.

“It’s paramount for teams like us that are in the bottom eight to have some good competition,” he said. “Eight months off from competitive basketball is not conducive to getting better.”

Hornets coach James Borrego agreed. If it's say to play for 22 teams, he suggested, it should be safe for everyone.

“The amount of time they’re spending with their teams and their players as a unit, we believe we should have the same," Borrego told reporters early in June. "That would level the playing field a little bit more."

MacMullan added that "some teams have pushed for a two-week delay before signing off on the second bubble, as concerns over the number of NBA players testing positive for the coronavirus increases and the number of cases spike in Florida."