Kai Sotto, the 7-foot-3, 18-year-old basketball phenom who is on a path to becoming the first native-born son of the Philippines to play in the NBA, is opting out of the start of the NBA G League bubble in Orlando next month in order to meet contractual obligations with the Filipino National Team — the Gilas. Instead of entering the G League bubble on Jan. 26 with the G League Ignite team, Sotto will travel to the Philippines and play with the Gilas when they host Korea (Feb. 18 and Feb. 22) and Indonesia (Feb.20) at Clark City in Pampanga. “The G League agreed for me to meet my previous commitments to play for the national team,” Sotto said via direct message. “They have asked for me to immediately report back to the bubble after my last national team game.”
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Cayleigh Griffin: I asked Coach Silas pregame if there’s any hesitation sending his two way players to the G League Bubble in Orlando next month, with the situation we have tonight (8 available players). He said, in short, yes. But he’s hopeful they won’t have this many injuries moving forward…
Connor Letourneau: Steve Kerr said he expects Nico Mannion to participate in the upcoming G League bubble in Orlando. Kerr isn’t so sure about his other two-way-contract player, Juan Toscano-Anderson.
Rick Bonnell: Hornets coach James Borrego was very relieved Charlotte will have a team in the G-League bubble. He didn’t get into specifics about which of the rookies would spend time at Disney when the G-League starts outside Orlando in February.
The NBA G League announced today that 18 teams, including 17 NBA G League teams and G League Ignite, will take to the court in February at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla. The top eight teams will advance to a single-elimination playoff. “We worked closely with our teams, the Basketball Players Union, and public health experts to develop a structure that allows our teams to gather at a single site and safely play,” said NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim. “We are thrilled to get back to basketball and to fulfill our mission as a critical resource for the NBA in developing players, coaches, referees, athletic trainers and front-office staff.”
The 17 participating NBA G League teams are: Agua Caliente Clippers (LA Clippers), Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs), Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers), Delaware Blue Coats (Philadelphia 76ers), Erie BayHawks (New Orleans Pelicans), Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Indiana Pacers), Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets), Iowa Wolves (Minnesota Timberwolves), Lakeland Magic (Orlando Magic), Long Island Nets (Brooklyn Nets), Memphis Hustle (Memphis Grizzlies), Oklahoma City Blue (Oklahoma City Thunder), Raptors 905 (Toronto Raptors), Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston Rockets), Salt Lake City Stars (Utah Jazz), Santa Cruz Warriors (Golden State Warriors), Westchester Knicks (New York Knicks)
The NBA G League is focused on Orlando’s Disney campus as its bubble playing site for the 2021 season amid the coronavirus pandemic, with tipoff tentatively scheduled for Feb. 8, sources tell The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
G League teams have been given tentative dates to prepare for, subject to change: 1. Jan. 19, arrival in their home markets for physicals and onboarding 2. Jan. 26, teams arrive at the single site in Orlando 3. Tip-off set for Feb. 8, with the tentative playoff schedule will be from March 5 to March 9. The G League is expected to play a 12-to-15-game schedule, sources said.
The following 11 franchises will not send a G League affiliate: Atlanta (College Park Skyhawks), Boston (Maine Red Claws), Chicago (Windy City Bulls), Dallas (Texas Legends), Detroit (Grand Rapids Drive), Los Angeles Lakers (South Bay Lakers), Miami (Sioux Falls Skyforce), Milwaukee (Wisconsin Herd), Phoenix (Northern Arizona Suns), Sacramento (Stockton Kings) and Washington (Capital City Go-Go; will utilize Erie).
Adam Johnson: Per league sources, these teams are expected to participate in the G League bubble: Agua Caliente Austin Canton Delaware Erie/Capital City Fort Wayne Greensboro Ignite Iowa Lakeland Long Island Memphis Raptors 905 Salt Lake Santa Cruz Westchester
Fred Katz: Things are trending toward the Wizards using the Pelicans’ G League team, the Erie Bayhawks, as their G League affiliate in the bubble, according to sources. The two organizations would each chip in some of the cost of going to the bubble.
The NBA is putting the finishing touches on plans for an NBA G League Bubble this upcoming February, and according to a report from Jonathan Givony of ESPN, the Bubble will include 17 affiliate teams from across the NBA as well as the G League Ignite squad, led by top NBA Draft prospects Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, and Daishen Nix.
Stefan Bondy: Per source, the tentative G League schedule: Jan. 29: Training camp opens at bubble site. Feb. 8: Season starts March 5: Playoffs start *the hope is that the bubble site is Atlanta but that’s not set.
The NBA’s G League is determined to push forward with its season despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, league sources have told ESPN. In the face of health and financial concerns, a primary motivation is to not let the league-run Ignite team fall on its face in the program’s inaugural campaign. Some of the top prospects in the country are on team Ignite.
In order to support a season, the G League plans to mimic the NBA’s “bubble” model, and is eyeing Atlanta as its temporary home after also considering Orlando, Florida, league sources told ESPN. The G League season, normally a 50-game slate from early November until late March followed by playoffs, would be truncated to go from January until March, sources said.
Preliminarily, 10 teams, including the South Bay Lakers and the Maine Red Claws (the Boston Celtics’ affiliate) indicated they will opt out, sources told ESPN. The G League has received commitments from about a dozen teams, including the Ignite, sources told ESPN, and await final decisions from a handful of other franchises. With the details surrounding the upcoming season being so fluid, the teams on the fence are not sure what exactly they would be committing to, sources told ESPN.
Adam Zagoria: League source says there’s a ‘big chance’ the G League bubble won’t happen in GA due to logistical reasons. Team presidents are due to have a call next week to ‘sort out things and get closer to a final decision,’ source says.
Marc Berman: Knicks signing Bryce Brown for G League action. Looks like this Atlanta bubble will feature about a dozen teams and start around Jan. 10, per source.
Stefan Bondy: The Westchester Knicks are among the teams expected to participate in the G League bubble in Atlanta, according to sources. There’s a financial cost to playing and some teams are opting out.
Barry Jackson: Per source, Heat will not field G-League team this year. G-League is expected to field teams in a bubble in an Atlanta suburb. Heat will not participate. Heat’s 2-way players (Vincent & likely either Eboua, Tyree, Strus or BJ Johnson) will stay with Heat, can play 50 games each
Jared Weiss: The Celtics are opting out of the NBA’s preliminary plans for a G-League bubble, sources tell @The Athletic. Details on the league’s planning stage, impact on Exhibit 10 contracts and what this means for the Maine Red Claws: theathletic.com/2241819/2020/1…
The NBA G League and its teams are currently considering the possibility of playing a 2020-21 season that would take place either fully or partially in a bubble, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.
The G League, the NBA’s developmental league, is made up of 28 teams who are each affiliated with one NBA team as a sort of minor-league feeder system for parent organizations to develop young talent and look for diamonds in the rough. The G League suspended its 2019-20 season on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic before canceling it entirely on June 4. Unlike NBA teams — who fly in private jets and are thus more easily and safely able to isolate during travel — G League teams have always flown on commercial airlines, making getting anywhere during a pandemic a much less safe proposition for them than it is for their parent teams.
The G League has yet to announce anything about the upcoming season, but sources say that discussions are ongoing about how to pull off a season, with the NBA itself resuming on Dec. 22.
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January 23, 2021 | 6:44 pm EST Update
Mark Followill: On the 430 CST NBA injury report, Kristaps Porzingis listed as doubtful for tonight vs Houston (right knee injury recovery). This is the 5th game in 7 nights and the 2nd back to back in that stretch for the Mavs.
Ryan Wolstat: Great stuff from Fred VanVleet today via @Mike Ganter talking about his former coach Nate Bjorkgren ahead of Raptors-Pacers games: “If you don’t like Nate, you’re crazy, there’s something wrong with you …I’m glad that he’s been doing well but we need him to suck for two days.”
Sarah K. Spencer: Hawks injury report: De’Andre Hunter (right knee soreness) is questionable. Trae Young (back spasm) is questionable. Bogdan Bogdanovic (avulsion fracture, right knee) is out. Kris Dunn (right ankle surgery) is out.
Josh Robbins: The Magic have listed Al-Farouq Aminu, Michael Carter-Williams, Markelle Fultz, Jonathan Isaac and Chuma Okeke as out for Sunday’s game against the Hornets. No one else is listed on the Magic’s injury report.