The majority of teams eliminated from the 2019-20 NBA season are in favor of exploring the opportunity to hold their own training camps - and possibly even televised games - at a second single-site campus, The Athletic's Sam Amick reports.
Stumbling to the worst records at the time of the season stoppage in mid-March, the eight franchises not included in the NBA's 22-team restart plan include the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, and Charlotte Hornets.
With those teams' 2019-20 season ending nearly 20 games earlier than expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2020-21 campaign tentatively expected to begin in early December, those franchises could face close to nine months without competitive basketball.
The Cavaliers, Hawks, and Pistons are reportedly among the biggest proponents of creating a second single-site campus, while the Timberwolves have shown interest in hosting the event. Meanwhile, the Knicks, who employ a number of impending free agents, have reservations.
On Friday's conference call featuring top leaders from the NBA and NBPA, players' association executive director Michele Roberts had her own reservations about the eliminated teams holding their own event if it were not up to the safety standards of the NBA's main campus at Walt Disney World.
"I think our teams are incredibly smart and creative and can come up with ways to get their guys engaged, if not now, before the season starts," Roberts said, according to Amick. "But I am very concerned and frankly, my concern aside, our players, our teams are very concerned about any - in terms of play that doesn't have the same guarantees of safety and health that we've provided for the teams in Orlando.
"So yeah, never say never, but there’s a standard. It’s a standard that's got to be met, and if it's not met, next question, as far as I'm concerned.”