NBA Expected To OK Chicago Mini-Camps, Games For Bottom Eight Teams

4:14pm: Within her full ESPN.com story on the proposed Chicago campus, MacMullan writes that most of the bottom eight teams would prefer to hold mini-camps in their own markets, but commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts – who have repeatedly expressed that they believe the Orlando campus will be safer than teams’ own markets – want to create a similar environment for the non-Orlando teams before they approve group workouts and scrimmages.

Seven of the bottom eight teams – all except the Knicks – were on a call today with the NBA to discuss the issue, with the league seeking assurances that teams would send their players to Chicago, per MacMullan. There’s a belief that veterans like Stephen Curry and Blake Griffin may not travel to Chicago for the event, but that younger players would be more inclined to participate.

Participation would be voluntary and the cost of setting up the campus would be split among the NBA’s 30 clubs, sources tell ESPN. MacMullan notes that some of the bottom eight teams want to wait a couple weeks to see how the Orlando plan plays out, while others are in favor of moving forward with a plan as soon as possible, since they don’t believe there’s a ton of time to work out the details.

There’s still work to be done before the NBPA signs off on the plan, tweets K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.


3:56pm: The NBA is close to signing off on creating a second campus location in Chicago for the league’s bottom eight teams who weren’t invited to Orlando, sources tell ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan (Twitter link via Adrian Wojnarowski).

As MacMullan reports – and Woj relays – the eight clubs not invited to Orlando would be permitted to hold mini-training camps and inter-squad games in Chicago. The goal would be for the event to take place in September.

The news comes as a bit of a surprise. Many of the clubs whose seasons are over have been pushing the NBA to allow some sort of offseason team activities along these lines, in the hopes of keeping their young players engaged and active during a nine-month gap between games. However, a report earlier this week suggested that the NBA wasn’t expected to approve mandatory OTAs, and there was skepticism that the league would go to the effort of creating another “bubble” without its massive TV deals – and its 2020 postseason – at stake.

We’ll have to wait for more details on the NBA’s Chicago plan, but it seems safe to assume there would be more player opt-outs among the bottom eight teams than there have been among the top 22. As Bobby Marks of ESPN points out (via Twitter) that approximately 40 players on the non-Orlando teams could reach free agency in October, limiting their incentive to participate in a September mini-camp for teams they may be leaving a month later.

The Warriors are the only team without any pending free agents on their roster, but Anthony Slater of The Athletic notes (via Twitter) that their preference has been to hold a controlled mini-camp in the Bay Area — not to participate in a de facto Summer League across the country.

The Warriors, Timberwolves, Hornets, Bulls, Hawks, Knicks, Cavaliers, and Pistons are the eight teams not playing in Orlando this summer who would be invited to the Chicago campus, assuming the NBA and NBPA finalize an agreement.

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16 thoughts on “NBA Expected To OK Chicago Mini-Camps, Games For Bottom Eight Teams

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      The depth of talent in the Western conference is insane.

      Even with Durant going to the east he will still be able to make the All-Star game there, whereas it would have been far more difficult had he stayed in the West.

      • twolvesaremynightmare

        You think it would be hard for Kevin Durant to make the all star team? Are you stupid? He’s gonna have a big chip on his shoulder and probably average 30 plus easily

  1. El Don

    They should play against each other in official games, adding 7 games to their RS, reaching their 70 for TV deals & their stats counting as part of the season, that would be cool to watch!

  2. El Don

    BTW the team with most wins would pick #1 in the draft & the worst #8, that would make it real interesting!
    For once we could see a reward for winning not an incentive for loosing!

    • You can’t change it right at the end when you’ve had one system in place for three-quarters of the season. Let’s try that next year? Let’s make team that barely misses the playoffs get the number one pick. Great idea Don.

    • “For once we would see an incentive for winning and not for losing”

      It’s called the NBA Championship. I’m going on for 74 years. There is no “for once.”

      Of course if you’re talkin about the non-playoff teams having an incentive to win, see my first comment.

      Then of course if you’re only talking about this season and the eight non-playoff teams, see my first comment.

    • The reward for winning, Don, is making the playoffs. That equals more games, more money, more TV, more spot light, and a chance to move on to the next round and get more money, more games, more exposure, more spot light, and more TV Revenue.

      • x%sure

        He’s talking about tanking teams, not elite teams who are conceding a low draft pick by winning a lot. About minimizing the motivation to lose for the #1 pick. Nobody loses on purpose to get that #25 pick.

        This is the year such a tournament would be easy, indeed provide a relevant “trophy” for a competition.

        • So the Minnesota Timberwolves are tanking? The New York Knicks are tanking and the Cavs are tanking? I just think they don’t have the players. Why does everybody say the teams that come in last and get the number one picks are tanking?

          Even my Golden State Warriors, Klay Thompson tore his ACL, out for the year. They had to trade half their bench guys and play rookies so they could keep Durant’s Max slot on the roster (D’Angelo Russell, Andrew Wiggins.) Steph Curry broke his hand. Looney’s been hurt all year.

          The Atlanta Hawks were tanking? They traded for Clint capela to try to get better and make the playoffs but they wound up near the bottom. What’s all this talk about tanking? A couple of teams have done it in the past like the Sixers sitting guys so they can get another high pick I guess. But it’s few and far between because it doesn’t work. Kings continually get high draft picks that never turn out. Then there’s other teams at picking the teens and Twenties that get great players.

          In my opinion this 8 team tournament and giving the winter the number one pick doesn’t help matters. Then the next few years the Knicks will still be crappy the Hawks will still be crappy.. whoever else is crappy now and should get a top 5 pick.

          • x%sure

            You went to a lot of trouble… replace “tanking” with “crappy”, same thing. Crappy teams get accused of tanking & one can only guess. I think the Cavs kind of gave up occasionally, which they have done in the past, but calling it tanking is almost a compliment in comparison!

            BTW by “easy” I meant easy to pull off.

            • I hear what you’re saying and you make sense. I think there’s a difference between crappie and tanking. Crappy means they don’t have the players and they’re not good, tanking means sitting your good players out so you get another high draft pick. Philadelphia 76ers.

    • Sillivan

      You mean giving Warriors good picks for the last 5 years?

      you want Warriors draft
      Towns
      Ben Simmons
      Tatum
      Luka
      Zion

  3. stevep-4

    I am still trying to figure out where exactly this “bubble” in Chicago exists. University of Illinois? There aren’t any gated communities here. There isn’t a multi-court facility AFAIK. I suppose it could be built in an empty warehouse somewhere. But I don’t see the risk/reward as opposed to just letting teams run their own camps and conditioning, playing intrasquad.

    I suppose this could be done at McCormick Place, custom, or utilizing the DePaul arena, but there would be little guarantee that players stay inside any bubble with all the entertainment options nearby.

    I just don’t think this is feasible without extensive risk. And Chicago just instituted a 14-day quarantine for anyone coming in from a dozen or so states.

  4. Ialreadyhadsteveijustupdatedmypicbeenheresince08gimmemynameback

    I was going to say loser has to lick a dog turd but winner gets draft ranking sounds better. Is someone really crying over the knicks possibly getting a much worse pick then they would under the current system? Lols oh those knicks just a pick away just a pick away…..

  5. twolvesaremynightmare

    This draft sucks so bad it really doesn’t matter if you pick #1 or you pick #8 your getting a role player at best. Certainly nobody good enough to affect the Knicks or Timberwolves or bulls chances at ever fielding a decent team again.

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