Report: 2nd NBA Bubble for Eliminated Teams Not Likely to Happen amid Pandemic

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Report: 2nd NBA Bubble for Eliminated Teams Not Likely to Happen amid Pandemic
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

The proposed second NBA bubble, which was set to include the eight teams that did not qualify for seeding games, is reportedly unlikely to happen over COVID-19 concerns.

"There's nothing happening," a general manager told Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic. "It's a shame. It's a huge detriment to these eight franchises that were left behind."

There is also "pessimism" that the NBA will allow teams to hold minicamps in their respective cities.

Those eight teams have not played or been able to convene in groups since the NBA shut down its regular season in March. If the teams are not able to have an offseason camp, they will go at least eight months between the end of the regular season and scheduled start of training camp in November.

The NBA's current plan makes several assumptions. The NBA Finals are scheduled to run through early October, giving teams only about a month for a typical offseason before camps are slated to begin. When the league announced its tentative plans, many thought it was being ambitious in hoping for an early-December start to the 2020-21 regular season.

It's possible, if not likely, the regular-season tipoff will be pushed to late December or early January, assuming the league and its players can figure out a structure for the season. NBPA director Michele Roberts told ESPN's Tim Bontemps a bubble may be the only way the NBA can hold the 2020-21 season as scheduled. The NBA's bubble is prohibitively expensive and would become more so if stretched over the length of a typical season.

Given the breadth of negotiations necessary to figure out the 2020-21 season, the eight non-bubble teams could wind up being apart for nine or even 10 months in a worst-case scenario. While there are clearly safety concerns and little financial incentive to put on another bubble for the league's bottom-dwellers, those teams could be at a competitive disadvantage when games resume. 

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