Several cities are being considered as possible hosts for the eight teams that weren’t invited to Orlando, reports Sam Amick of The Athletic. Participants in a league conference call this week mentioned Las Vegas and Houston, which were both eyed as potential sites for the 22-team field before Orlando was chosen. Amick states that some of the eight teams involved have expressed interest in hosting the event, citing the Timberwolves as a possibility.
Sources tell Amick that the Cavaliers, Pistons and Hawks have been the strongest advocates to the league about setting up some type of eight-team arrangement so their players can have the benefit of competition before next season begins. However, the Knicks have been reluctant because they have so many potential free agents who may refuse to participate. He suggests New York would be more willing to get involved if it could use G League players to fill its roster.
We have more from around the basketball world:
- The NBA isn’t doubting its decision to bring the restart to Walt Disney World, even though coronavirus cases are rising sharply in Florida, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. He spoke with several league and team officials who expressed confidence in the plan for a bubble environment. Mannix adds that the league might eventually reconsider its policy of not testing some Disney employees, noting that the guidelines issued last week can still be changed.
- Commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA president Chris Paul are both calling on teams to increase diversity in their coaching and front office hires, writes Mark Medina of USA Today. The league currently has just 11 Black head coaches, nine female assistants and nine Black general managers. “There is no doubt there is more we can do internally, the league and our teams and in terms of our hiring practices,” Silver said on a conference call Friday. “The league needs to do a good job, in particular, when it comes to hiring African Americans at every level in the league. It’s something we have been focused on with our teams.”
- John Hollinger of The Athletic assesses each team’s schedule for Orlando, finding that the Pelicans have the easiest slate and the Heat have the most challenging. Six of New Orleans’ eight games will be against teams with losing records.