NBA, NBPA Reportedly in 'Serious Talks' About Bubble for Non-Qualifying Teams

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2020

A general view of the court with Black Lives Matter written above the NBA logo is seen at center court prior to an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers, Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images via AP, Pool)
Mike Ehrmann/Associated Press

The NBA and NBPA are reportedly in "serious talks" about creating an in-market bubble program for the eight teams that weren't part of the NBA restart in Orlando, Florida.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the program would include daily COVID-19 testing, one week of individual workouts, two weeks of group practices and one hour of five-on-five play per day.

The resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season saw 22 teams play inside the NBA bubble in Orlando. Regular-season play will end Friday with the Western Conference play-in game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Memphis Grizzlies occurring Saturday with Game 2 on Sunday if necessary.

The Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors were the eight teams that didn't have good enough records to get invited to the NBA campus in Orlando.

None of those teams have played since the 2019-20 season was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic in March, which means they could be at a significant disadvantage when it comes time to prepare for the 2020-21 season.

If those teams are permitted to assemble and practice, however, it could go a long way toward knocking off the rust.

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The NBA draft and free agency are scheduled for October after the NBA Finals come to an end, and while there has been talk of the 2020-21 NBA season starting in December, no date is set in stone.

Uncertainty regarding whether the 2020-21 season will be played inside the bubble or played normally in teams' home arenas is among the reasons why it still isn't known when the 2020-21 season will commence.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated on Thursday that not finding a way to get all 30 teams inside the bubble was his biggest regret with regard to the NBA restart, but if a deal can be reached to allow those remaining eight teams to practice, it may create a fairer environment entering the 2020-21 campaign.