According to a new report, the eight NBA teams that were not included in the league’s restart plan in Orlando this summer may still have a chance to play, as the league is “closing in” on allowing those clubs to play in their own “bubble.”
According to ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, the eight teams would congregate in Chicago later this year, conducting min-training camps and playing games against one another:
Those eight teams include the Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, Charlotte Hornets and Golden State Warriors.
The league would target September as the start date for the teams to begin training and competing, according to MacMullan’s report.
The news comes as the leaders of the eight teams looked for an alternative to simply waiting for the next NBA season to begin. The eight teams that would take part in this grouping were all excluded by the NBA from the league’s restart plan, as none were in position to qualify for the postseason.
The 22 teams still in the mix are set to gather in Orlando, Florida later this summer, finishing off the regular season and then proceeding into the NBA playoffs, which would likely run through at least mid-October.
It’s unclear at this point where in Chicago the games would be hosted, but the United Center would be a likely venue, as the Chicago Blackhawks have reportedly been passed over as a potential “hub city” host for the restart of the NHL season later this year. Edmonton and Toronto have reportedly been given those two spots, with 12 teams reporting to each hub for the resumed season.
Various other Chicago arenas, including Wintrust Arena and the Allstate Arena, could theoretically be used for the purposes of the “second bubble,” but no plan has been finalized at this point.