The NBA is close to agreeing on a plan to create a second bubble setup in Chicago to host the eight teams not participating in the league's Orlando restart, sources told ESPN's Jackie MacMullan.
If the plan comes to fruition, teams would be permitted to participate in mini training camps and games against other squads. The second bubble - which would be hosted at a venue yet to be determined - is targeted to begin in September. Wintrust Arena is a potential spot for the bubble, NBC Sports' K.C. Johnson reports.
The eight teams that failed to qualify for the league's Orlando bubble are the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, and New York Knicks.
Seven of those eight teams - the Knicks didn't participate - took part in a conference call with the league on Thursday to discuss the bubble format. Before fully committing, the NBA wanted to confirm teams would be willing to send players to compete, MacMullan adds.
There already appears to be pushback against the league's new idea. Pistons head coach Dwane Casey told MacMullan that an informal poll of coaches for non-playoff teams revealed most would prefer to host their own minicamps.
"The reason we want these minicamps is to get our team together, to have that camaraderie, to improve and enjoy some competition," Casey said. "We feel we can do that safely in our own environment."
The second bubble - which would be completely voluntary similar to the league's Orlando bubble - would be created at a significant cost that involves contributions from all 30 teams. Discussions have centered around the idea of the teams practicing for two weeks, then each playing four games.
NBPA executive director Michelle Roberts stated last week she'd like any potential plans for offseason training involving the eight non-playoff teams to replicate health and safety measures set out in the Orlando bubble "in every way."