NBA Explores Idea Of Bottom Eight Teams Conducting OTAs At Disney Campus

A report earlier this week suggested that the idea of creating a second “bubble” this summer for the NBA’s bottom eight clubs to conduct organized team activities appeared to be losing steam.

However, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic, league officials made it clear in a Wednesday conference call that they’re still trying to figure out as solution that will allow those teams to stay active. One idea that has been discussed, sources tell Amick, is bringing those bottom eight teams to the NBA’s first bubble at Walt Disney World.

As Amick explains, we’re just over a week away from six of the 22 teams participating in the Orlando restart being eliminated, which would open up more space at the Disney hotels and basketball courts. Two weeks later, after the first round of the playoffs ends, eight more clubs will be eliminated, leaving just eight of the original 22 on campus.

That could create an opportunity for the NBA to invite the bottom eight teams – the Warriors, Timberwolves, Cavaliers, Hawks, Knicks, Pistons, Bulls, and Hornets – into its “bubble.” Presumably, players, coaches, and staffers would quarantine in Disney hotels for several days before being cleared to participate in group workouts, practices, and perhaps even inter-squad scrimmages.

Amick cautions that this idea is just being considered for now, with nothing decided as of yet. A number of the hotel rooms being vacated by teams by the end of the first round of the postseason are expected to be filled by family members of players on the remaining clubs, who will be permitted to bring guests onto the campus around the end of August. So the NBA would have logistical challenges to overcome to bring such a plan together.

It also seems unlikely that all of those bottom eight teams would be enthusiastic about traveling to Orlando, quarantining, and spending a period of time at the Disney campus. The Warriors are known to prefer the idea of group workouts in their own market, and the Knicks have been averse to the idea of a second bubble because they have a number of free agents on their roster who likely wouldn’t participate (any organized team activities the NBA approves are expected to be voluntary, not mandatory).

Still, it’s worth noting that one of the NBPA’s primary concerns about OTAs for the non-Orlando teams is a belief that it’d be difficult to replicate the Disney safety protocols at another location. Bringing those teams onto the Disney campus would be the simplest way to ensure that those players are subject to the same safety protocols, so the union would have to consider such a plan. We’ll see if anything comes of it.

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6 thoughts on “NBA Explores Idea Of Bottom Eight Teams Conducting OTAs At Disney Campus

  1. KnickerbockerAl

    All teams have 15 players on roster. Plus their NBDL players. So all of them can be playing hard alone. In their city or someplace close. Why move them and complicate things. All can and should be working out as team. Even if they are going to be FA. They still need to be in top shape. Much safer and easier. They are the worst. They had their chance.

  2. GoLandCrabs

    NBA playing this many regular season games in the bubble is ridiculous. They just want to give Zion a chance at the playoffs. There is no reason to play 8 games when 15/16 playoff teams were already obvious.

    • yoyo137

      Well considering the Blazers are now only .5 games behind the Grizzlies, that means only 15 teams were obvious locks and that 16th spot was way too close to just give to Memphis. Pelicans are losing almost every game. The Suns look like they have a chance to get the 9th seed if the Grizzlies continue to drop and the Blazers secure the 8th seed. If it was obvious, then the Grizzlies would have run away with the 8 spot.

  3. x%sure

    Fair idea. People that don’t want to participate don’t have to. Rosters can be filled out with GLers even from different GL teams. Teams or players could be added that did not make the playoffs, if the NBA time at WDW can be extended. Rules can vary since no title is at stake… teams don’t have to be complete and normal.

    There seems to be a lot of money floating around, and no great concern for taking up testing kits.
    Keeping the rules going at home facilities would not work and wind up costing more.

  4. Reflect

    Disney hotels have capacity for many thousands of people. I don’t understand why that keeps getting mentioned as a logistical challenge. I used to work at those hotels. I’m confident there’s space for a second bubble.

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