The NBA could be returning to Disney World in Orlando, Florida for a “bubble” campus experience in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. This time, Disney World looks set to be home for 18 G League clubs as the NBA’s minor league begins its 2020/21 season, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Though Atlanta had previously been the frontrunner as a destination for the 2020/21 G League season, Orlando emerged in recent weeks as a viable candidate. Disney World of course served as a successful locale for the 2019/20 NBA season restart. The ’19/20 NBA “bubble” season included eight seeding games for 22 NBA clubs, a play-in game between the Trail Blazers and Grizzlies, plus a full slate of playoff games without any player, personnel member, coach or family member of team personnel recording a positive coronavirus test result after quarantining.
As previously reported, are expected to land in their home markets for physical examinations by January 19. A week later, January 26, clubs will all convene in Orlando. The 12-to-15-game 2020/21 G League season is set to commence on February 8. Playoffs are currently expected to run from March 5-9.
The news report includes all 18 teams anticipated to participate in the Disney World campus:
- Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers)
- Austin Spurs (Spurs)
- Canton Charge (Cavaliers)
- Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers)
- Erie BayHawks (Pelicans)
- Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers)
- G League Ignite (Select Team)
- Greensboro Swarm (Hornets)
- Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves)
- Lakeland Magic (Magic)
- Long Island Nets (Nets)
- Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies)
- Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder)
- Raptors 905 (Raptors)
- Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets)
- Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz)
- Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors)
- Westchester Knicks (Knicks)
The report notes that the Wizards will be using the Erie BayHawks as their affiliate, as previously reported. Washington’s own club, the Capital City Go-Go, will not be involved in the 2020/21 G League bubble season.
As we previously relayed, several teams were asked to volunteer to opt out of the bubble this season, as the G League will not be able to accommodate all 29 clubs into this Orlando campus environment.
Player and personnel health and safety expenses will be accounted for by each individual club partaking in the enterprise, and sources tell The Athletic reports that these will cost between $400K-$500K.
The 2020/21 NBA G League draft will take place on January 11, per Charania.