We’re a ways off from next season, but league sources have told me that the NBA is looking at options that include creating regional bubbles, should the COVID-19 pandemic still prevent normal business in the fall. Teams would report to a bubble for short stints—around a month—which would be followed by 1-2 weeks off. Ideally, the NBA would like to play an 82-game schedule that starts in December. A December start would allow the league to end the season in late June, putting the NBA back on a normal schedule and, importantly, not compete with the Olympics next summer. The players union is expected to take issue with that, preferring teams, particularly those making deep playoff runs, have more time off.
Adrian Wojnarowski: NBA’s priority remains to get fans into arenas next season. Regional pods for extended periods are among brainstorms, but preference would be that those are finite in length, sources said. For example: A month or two inside, a month out. Early in planning; everything's on table.
Australian NBA star Joe Ingles is open to playing an entire NBA season inside a bubble if the coronavirus continues to effect sport next year. He even revealed league officials had already spoken to the players about the potential of tutors for their children.
Ingles said NBA officials had spoken to players about how schooling may work for their children if the league was forced to continue in the bubble for a season. “There is a lot that would have to happen, but there have been discussion of bringing in tutors and a little classroom school,” Ingles said. “That is the level that it would have to be at, but the NBA is one of the best businesses in the world, and if anyone was going to pull it off, the NBA could.”
Ingles believes the main challenge of extending the bubble for a full season, which would be a minimum of six months, would be including loved ones. “Guys aren’t going without their families,” he said. “We were talking about this the other night my significant others would be my family. But for one of my teammates it might be his brother or his mum, so finding the balance of how many people and where you do that to have enough accommodation for 30 teams, including 40 staff and players in our group and that was a really small number that the NBA were trying to keep tight so we weren’t having too many people. If you are there all year you have to bring extra people.”
As the NBA prepares to officially restart its season in its bubble inside Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday -- and other sports, most notably Major League Baseball, struggle to deal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic -- National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts said returning to a bubble might be the only feasible way for the NBA to complete next season, as well.
"If tomorrow looks like today, I don't know how we say we can do it differently," Roberts told ESPN in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon. "If tomorrow looks like today, and today we all acknowledge -- and this is not Michele talking, this is the league, together with the PA and our respective experts saying, 'This is the way to do it' -- then that's going to have to be the way to do it."
In a call with the players back in May, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said money generated from live game attendance could account for up to 40 percent of the league's annual revenue. Roberts said the two sides are "beginning some very high-level discussions with respect to what the potential issues are," and said the laborious process that was necessary for the NBA and the union to hash out how to put the bubble together, and then actually go through the process of doing so, "took just about all of the oxygen out of the room."
November 25, 2020 | 1:57 am EST Update
For two weeks before it appeared that the Bucks had a deal to bring in Bogdanovic alongside Holiday, there had been promising rumblings in league circles that Antetokounmpo was prepared to sign the extension. A belief was building that Antetokounmpo was likely to opt for immediate financial security by signing before the season and quietly reserving the right to try to force a trade later if he was unhappy, as George did one season after re-signing in Oklahoma City.
Again, this is NOT normal. Usually, teams at the level of those three clubs above push all their chips in to maximize the present for all its worth. The fact these three clubs weren’t willing to do so tells you 1) how much of a game-changer they think Antetokounmpo would be for their franchises, and 2) how gettable they think he is in free agency. Put it this away: Nobody was setting cash aside to make a run at Anthony Davis this summer.
Carmichael Dave: Now that the Bogi situation is behind them, I continue to hear solid and steady chatter that the Kings and Hassan Whiteside are engaged in talks to bring him to Sacramento. Nothing is imminent, but they’ve been going on for days off and on.
While Jeremy Lin awaits a free agency offer from an NBA team, the Beijing Ducks are working to bring him back to China. Chinese Basketball Association reporter Jia Lei posted an update to that effect on his Weibo account on Wednesday morning. “Beijing Shougang is actively pursuing Jeremy Lin, trying to persuade Jeremy Lin to give up the NBA, return to the CBA, and join Beijing,” Jia wrote.
Ingram’s contract was the final thing on the to-do list for New Orleans this offseason, giving them 14 players under contract along with two-way player Naji Marshall. Ingram’s deal puts the Pelicans a few hairs under the luxury tax line, and a source told The Athletic that the plan for now is to go into training camp with the roster assembled the way it currently is. The only change I would expect to see between now and December is the addition of one more two-way contract player to add depth.
Bogdan Bogdanovic: Thank you so much @SacramentoKings for welcoming me with so much love to start my NBA career. Thank you for allowing me to be myself and giving me the opportunity to follow my dreams!!! Thank you to the fans and the city for welcoming me, and supporting me the whole time!! (1/2) I’m going to miss all my friends, teammates and one of the best fan bases in NBA!!! Thank you, your guy Bogi.