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James Edwards III: Casey doesn’t expect Derrick Rose or Blake Griffin to participate in the local bubble. He thinks they could attend, though. It’s strictly voluntary. Hopes young players see it as mandatory.
Omari Sanfoka II: Casey says he hoped the Pistons would’ve been able to play other teams, but is happy with the in-market workouts. “I would’ve loved to go against Cleveland or Chicago, been in contact with those coaches … we’ll take what we can get.”
James Edwards III: Dwane Casey on the likelihood of local bubbles: “One thing we’re excited about, and what we hope to get out of it, all of the games down in Orlando, a lot of the young players have flourished and blossomed. That’s something we’ve missed out on.”
Shams Charania: The NBA and NBPA have reached agreement for the eight franchises who were not part of Orlando restart to conduct voluntary group workouts while residing in campus settings, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Shams Charania: NBA and NBPA essentially forming in-market bubbles for the eight non-restart teams, Sept. 14 to Oct. 6, sources say. Phase 1: Sept. 14-20: Testing begins, individual workouts Phase 2: Sept. 21-Oct. 6: Group training in campus setting; private living accommodations for all.
Marc J. Spears: NBA AND NBPA ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT FOR TEAMS THAT DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN 2019-20 SEASON RESTART TO CONDUCT GROUP WORKOUTS IN MARKET pic.twitter.com/uU4kGpDVm6
Shams Charania: Sources: The NBA and NBPA are in serious talks on in-market bubble program in September for the eight franchises that were not part of Orlando restart, with framework: – Daily testing – One week of individual workouts – Two weeks of group practices – One hour of 5-on-5 per day
Koby Altman, the general manager of the Cavs, has been extremely vocal about his displeasure. He continues to talk with people in the league about the possibility of something mandatory. Training camp, voluntary training camp, OTAs, however you want to phrase it. So he still wants something and there are still negotiations going on on both sides.
One idea floated on a recent owners call, as first reported by The Athletic and confirmed by USA TODAY Sports, is bringing the Forgotten Eight to the Disney bubble near Orlando once teams are eliminated. So far, that environment has been a success. No player has tested positive for COVID-19 for three consecutive weeks, and the league’s plan to minimize cases is working. That would require additional testing and resources, but it would in theory assuage health and safety concerns and satisfy those teams wishing to get time on the court. It’s just an idea, and three team executives told USA TODAY Sports they are skeptical of that becoming reality.
Another option would be to allow teams to conduct mini-camps in their home markets at practice facilities, and that has support among team executives. It’s not the same as a scrimmage against another team but it permits teams to get players in one spot, workout individually and collectively and get 5-on-5 runs.
Except, perhaps, this one: What if those eight teams joined the rest of their colleagues inside the Walt Disney World bubble for training after the eliminated teams departed? Sources say the NBA has been exploring that possibility for quite some time now, and that the idea was raised most recently on the aforementioned governors call. And in some ways, it makes perfect sense.
On the most recent episode of the Bulls Talk Podcast, NBC Sports Chicago Bulls insider K.C. Johnson broke down the latest scuttlebut: Well, the latest is, you really got only one shared goal between these eight teams and that is to get some kind of formal group activities authorized by the league and the players association. How that plays out and the form that takes, there are different goals. There are some teams that wouldn’t mind doing a bubble. There are other teams that would rather stay in their own practice facilities and not travel. There are other teams that want to do regional scrimmages against another team. And complicating this is that Michele Roberts, the executive director of the players association, is on record as saying: Unless there are the exact same safety protocols going on in Orlando for the second bubble, it’s a non-starter for her.
The league’s attention mostly has been in Orlando, obviously, and that was a signficant financial undertaking. So you’d also have to factor in that, what kind of financial undertaking would they commit to these eight teams. It did look like there was some positive momentum for, not a bubble, but for each team to be able to hold some sort of offseason training sessions, group sessions in their own facilities, like OTAs in the NFL. And I don’t think that’s dead, but there’s certainly not as much optimism as there was maybe a week, ten days ago for that. I mean, it’s fluid, and there’s nothing definitive yet, but you may be staring at that dreaded eight month window between formal group activities for these eight teams.
Tom Thibodeau still hasn’t gotten his first wish as head coach. A stalemate still exists between the players association and NBA on an agreement regarding organized team activities (OTA) for the “Delete 8,’’ according to multiple sources.
“Every week it’s something different,’’ one coach from a Delete 8 team told The Post. “The players association just keeps getting involved. I call it 50-50. But we can’t go eight, nine months without anything.
There has been some talk about a potential second bubble for the teams that didn’t get invited to Orlando. Are you focused solely on getting healthy for next season, or would you consider playing in that second bubble if it comes to fruition? Blake Griffin: To be honest, I haven’t really heard any truth to that, so I hadn’t even given that a thought. I don’t know that that’s probably the best route just because, you know, the NBA had to spend a large amount of money to put this bubble together in Orlando, and that’s for the playoffs to continue to happen and finish this season and give people some sort of entertainment, so I don’t know how real that information was about the Chicago bubble. But I’m healthy and I’ve been working out and going hard, so if that ever does come up we’ll revisit that topic then, but for now I don’t know how much truth there is to that.
There is growing belief among the NBA’s eight franchises not in Orlando that a second bubble site being built for minicamps and intrasquad scrimmages will not happen, sources tell The Athletic. There is pessimism about in-market minicamps for group workouts happening as well. “There’s nothing happening,” one GM told The Athletic after a Tuesday call between the eight GMs and league officials. “It’s a shame. It’s a huge detriment to these eight franchises that were left behind.”
While the league’s Disney World venture has gone smoothly thus far, with the league having twice reported that all of the players present have tested negative for COVID-19 while the games go on, sources say the National Basketball Players Association remains concerned about the safety concerns that would come with creating another location for the other eight teams to compete (Charlotte, Chicago, New York, Detroit, Atlanta, Minnesota, Cleveland, Golden State). The NBPA, sources say, has been open to the idea of having in-market bubbles for individual team minicamps. So far, those eight teams have only been able to do 1-on-0 workouts in the facility with up to two coaches at a time.
The frustration from most of these teams is that the ones not in Orlando now face a competitive disadvantage going forward when it comes to player and culture development, sources have said. Those teams, it’s clear, will continue pushing for ways to re-engage their coaches and players to ensure they are not taking steps backward ahead of the 2020-21 season. NBPA executive director Michele Roberts shared her view of the matter during a conference call with reporters in late June, making it clear that she would expect the same level of safety for players in a second bubble as exists in Orlando.
The NBA has progressed on a plan for the eight teams not in the season restart to practice and possibly hold group workouts next month, three sources with direct knowledge of the league’s discussions told the Observer.
This would allow the Charlotte Hornets and seven other teams not at Disney’s campus dramatically more activity than currently allowed. The proposal under discussion — which has not yet been approved by the league or the players union — would include: ▪ A week of practice at individual teams’ home facilities, starting the second week of August. ▪ Possibly two weeks of group workouts hosted by two teams not in the restart. Those cities have not yet been finalized. Teams traveling would likely be contingent on the players union approving teams scrimmaging each other.
Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak and the other seven general managers affected have lobbied hard over the past month for more practice time. For now, individual players can work with up to two coaches on skills development. However, players can’t work out against each other in a team facility.
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September 20, 2021 | 5:03 pm EDT Update
September 20, 2021 | 3:35 pm EDT Update
Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today that the team has signed Xavier Sneed. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Sneed was a member of the Hornets 2021 Summer League Roster in Las Vegas, averaging 6.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in four games. He appeared in 13 games last season with Charlotte’s G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, averaging 8.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game. Sneed finished the 2020-21 season with the second-best steals per game average amongst league leaders.
Two familiar faces won’t be around when the Miami Heat begins training camp next week at AmericanAirlines Arena. Bill Foran — a linchpin in the Heat becoming what Pat Riley calls the NBA’s best-conditioned team — retired this month after 33 years with the organization.
And shooting coach Rob Fodor — credited with helping several of the Heat’s players improve their perimeter accuracy — won’t be around the team in training camp and likely, beyond. Fodor could have returned for a fifth season if he wanted but preferred to live in another part of the country, according to a source. Now residing in California, Fodor will retain his role as the Heat’s shooting coach but will assist Heat players via Zoom sessions and phone calls.
September 20, 2021 | 1:33 pm EDT Update
Marc J. Spears: Warriors are working out free agent guards Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley & ex-Warrior Quinn Cook among others this week, sources told @TheUndefeated. Warriors would like to sign a big man & 2 guards for camp. Workouts will include 5-on-5 games with a diverse group of free agents.