Idle Teams Consider Mini-Summer League

The teams that won’t be invited to Orlando for the resumption of the NBA season are discussing activities to make sure their players won’t be left without games for nine months, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. That plan could involve training camps, followed by a small summer league.

Wojnarowski lists seven teams — the Hawks, Hornets, Bulls, Cavaliers, Pistons, Timberwolves and Knicks — that are supporting a plan to hold joint practices as preparation for summer league games in August. Sources tell him that Detroit and Cleveland have talked about having practices together before a “mini-pod” of games.

Ideas presented by the teams, according to Woj’s sources, include two weeks of workouts in July, regional mini-camps in August with several days of combined practices and approximately three games on television, then organized team activities in mid-September.

Also, the teams left out of Orlando are seeking permission from the NBA to start next season’s training camp a week to 10 days ahead of everyone else. Those teams are concerned that the long layoff will affect the development of their younger players, not only due to the lack of games but because of the long separation from team facilities and the structured life in the NBA.

“Nine months is too long without organized basketball,” Hawks owner Tony Ressler said. “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.”

“Not playing for eight months puts us in a competitive disadvantage, but again, I think there are creative ways to do so,” adds new Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas. “Collectively, I think these eight teams we’re getting now on calls and we have conversations of how we can develop our players and how we can have structure in place to get some practicing and possibly some scrimmaging in the offseason to catch up to the teams that are going to be playing.”

Wojnarowski points out that any games, camps or other activities would have to be negotiated by the league and the players union because they’re not part of the collective bargaining agreement. Sources tell ESPN that the league office has promised the teams it will work with them to find a solution.

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11 thoughts on “Idle Teams Consider Mini-Summer League

  1. Mozgov Contract

    Next season could start early with these teams only for the first couple weeks.

  2. Landis91

    I have an idea: let’s take 8 bad teams and make them play meaningless games so we can get more TV money.

    • x%sure

      Making money means someone wants to watch it. The NBA promotes a spectator sport; that’s what it does.

  3. emac22


    Am I really the only one that would pay to watch my team play? Were fans of these teams watching because they expected to win a title this year?

  4. jim in ohio

    Have these teams play a tournament The winner gets the number one draft choice

    • Luckylefty2

      Yea players will be so excited to play in a meaningless tournament & the award is potentially getting replacesld by a high draft pick. If they do a tournament the winner should get an extra 500k, 1m, or something like that.

  5. Why not just create an official junior league? You will have the A league, the B league and the G league.

    Create mechanisms for playoff to determine relegation, where a team can move up or down.

  6. jb10000lakes

    Here the players complain about the season being too long and how beat up/tired they get; now the teams that have the opportunity to be healthy and well rested while the others go through the motions and grind of a quasi-faux post-season just to start up again a month or two later, want to give up their advantage. I could see getting more practice in, and even playing with the other teams not making the playoffs, but why commit to giving up an advantage that you’d be begging for in any other season?

    • El Don

      9 months of not playing ain’t an advantage, is clear for anyone to see that is a very, very big disadvantage, right?

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