Report: NBA Teams Not Participating in Restart Propose Mini-Summer Leagues, More

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJune 6, 2020

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12: An NBA logo is shown at the 5th Avenue NBA store on March 12, 2020 in New York City. The National Basketball Association said they would suspend all games after player Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz reportedly tested positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

Eight NBA teams will not be invited to Lake Buena Vista, Florida, for the resumption and conclusion of the 2019-2020 NBA season, which has been suspended since March 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those eight teams may go at least nine months without playing competitive NBA basketball with the start of the 2020-21 season assuredly starting late due to the proposed 2019-20 season timeline, which has Game 7 of the NBA Finals scheduled for October 12.

With that in mind, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that teams are looking to increase their basketball activity this offseason in order for their player to stay active and stem the tide between seasons.

"Several teams left out of this season's regular-season resumption in Orlando have proposed ideas for regional mini-summer leagues, training camps and OTA's," sources told Wojnarowski.

Ideas have included voluntary and mandatory workouts for a two-week period in July, regional mini-camps in August that consist of joint practices and televised games, organized team activities in September and the chance to begin the 2020-21 training camp seven to 10 days earlier than the 22 franchises playing in Florida.

The eight teams who will not be making the trip are the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors.

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Some have expressed concern about players not taking part in games from now until the start of next season, with Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce among them, per comments made to Rachel Nichols on ESPN's The Jump:

"I coach the youngest team in the NBA. And the biggest thing we can benefit from is playing basketball, and the game has been taken away from all of us at this point.

"If the season is going to resume and we're still not a part of it, it hurts our growth, it hurts our product, it hurts our ability to continue the momentum that we need going into next season.

"I play young guys, I have young guys. They need game experience and so we need to play basketball, we want to play basketball."

The Hawks have a young core featuring five players (Trae Young, John Collins, DeAndre Hunter, Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish) drafted within the last three seasons.

They can certainly use as much competitive court time as possible and could be at a significant disadvantage headed into next season without the opportunity for further team development and individual growth.

Their owner, Tony Ressler, expressed as much to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne: "Nine months is too long without organized basketball. We just can't risk that. I think the league has heard that loud and clear. We are pushing to remain competitive. That's what our players want. We were desperate to have something that helps us to stay competitive."

Ressler's thoughts apply for the rest of the young talent in that eight-team group, including Knicks guard/forward RJ Barrett, T-Wolves swingman Jarrett Culver and the Cleveland Cavaliers' starting backcourt of Darius Garland and Collin Sexton, among others.

Per Wojnarowski, the offseason activities proposed for teams uninvited to Florida would have to be negotiated and approved by the NBA and NBPA since they fall outside the parameters of the current collective bargaining agreement.

However, the league has heard these teams concerns, per Wojnarowski: "The league office has told these teams that they plan to make addressing the offseason needs of those teams a priority and plan to work with them on reaching solutions to their concerns, sources said."

The eight teams in question missed the cut due to their win-loss records at the time of the season's suspension on March 11. All of them were outside the playoff picture by seven or more games.

The 26-39 Phoenix Suns, who are six games behind the current eighth-seed Memphis Grizzlies, were the last team invited in the West.

The 24-40 Washington Wizards, who are 5.5 games back of the Orlando Magic for No. 8 in the East, was the only current non-playoff team invited out of that conference.

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