Discussions about organized team activities (OTAs) – including group workouts and scrimmages – for the eight clubs left out of the NBA’s 22-team Orlando restart are ongoing, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link), who says those talks continue to center on in-market workouts that would start in September.
Over the course of the summer, there have been rumblings that the NBA was considering setting up a second bubble in Chicago for its bottom eight teams to conduct group workouts and scrimmages. The league was also said to be exploring the idea of bringing those eight clubs to the first bubble at Walt Disney World once several of the teams involved in the restart are eliminated.
However, the most likely outcome is a scenario reported by The Charlotte Observer last month, which would allow the Warriors, Timberwolves, Cavaliers, Hawks, Pistons, Knicks, Bulls, and Hornets to conduct offseason workouts for about three weeks in their respective home markets and facilities. No inter-squad scrimmages would take place in that scenario, but intra-squad scrimmages would be permitted.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), the NBA and NBPA are in serious talks about moving forward with that plan for September. It would look something like this, per Charania:
- One week of individual workouts
- Two weeks of group practices
- One hour of 5-on-5 play per day
- Daily coronavirus testing
Presumably, any team that has a player test positive for COVID-19 during that three-week period would have to at least temporarily shut down its facility in an effort to avoid a more significant outbreak.
Those workouts are also expected to be voluntary, which means that certain star players or other veterans, including players eligible for free agency, likely won’t participate. However, rebuilding teams like the Cavaliers, Hawks, and Timberwolves are eager to get their young players some organized offseason reps, since they’ll likely go at least nine months – or more – between regular season games.