Report: NBA May Use Chicago Bubble for Teams Not Involved in Orlando Restart

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2020

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) works during an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets, Monday, March 9, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)
John Amis/Associated Press

The eight NBA teams not competing in Orlando reportedly could still get a chance to play games before the start of next season. 

According to Jackie MacMullan of ESPN, the league is "closing in" on the creation of a second bubble in Chicago with a target date of September. The teams will take part in a training camp and games against each other.

The top 22 teams in the NBA standings are already set to compete later this month in Orlando, with eight seeding games followed by four rounds of playoffs.

This second bubble will reportedly follow the same protocols as those competing for a championship.

Although the remaining teams had little to no chance of competing for a playoff spot, there is still value in having events.

Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN reported in June there was a discussion of training camps and regional leagues to "bridge the lengthy gap" before the start of next season after a call from team owners.

"The message was something bigger, reminding people that some teams can't just reopen the doors in nine or 10 months and so easily sell tickets or a sponsorship without having played basketball for that long," one high-level Eastern Conference official said.

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Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler was among those calling for his team to take part in the restarted season despite his team being well out of playoff contention at 20-47.

Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce also pushed for the squad to compete.

"The game has been taken away from all of us at this point," Pierce said on ESPN's The Jump.

Teams like the Hawks, with many young players on the roster, could benefit from extra playing time. This group includes the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and others.

As one general manager told MacMullan, "It's more a chance to get our young guys out there working with some game simulation."

On the other hand, Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey said he and a majority of other head coaches would prefer holding their own camps.

"We'd rather do that than go to the bubble," Casey said, "because unlike those teams in Orlando, we wouldn't be playing for the same reason."

Meanwhile, the Knicks aren't interested in playing games in the Chicago bubble, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post:

"I probably won't play if it gets approved," one veteran Cavaliers player told Chris Fedor of "Doubt many vets will."

Per NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh, one league source would be "surprised" if a Chicago bubble happened:

The 2020-21 season isn't set to begin until December, which would leave about a nine-month gap between competitive games since the 2019-20 season was suspended in March.