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.