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UPDATED 7/2, 4:55 p.m. ET: Following reports that eight teams not included in the list of 22 teams to play in the NBA's insolated bubble were pushing hard for a second "bubble" site, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski has indicated that the NBA is close to signing off on such a site in Chicago.
The move will enable training camps for the teams not invited to play in Orlando, with subsequent games against other teams with a tentative date of September.
See original story below.
The NBA has created an insolated bubble for the 22 teams that have a strong chance of making the postseason and winning a championship. Despite being far removed from the playoff picture, however, the remaining eight teams are not willing to give up on their season.
On Saturday, The Athletic reported that the eight teams that weren't invited to the bubble in Orlando are still pushing for the NBA to establish a second site where they can train and play televised games. The teams first made it known that they were interested in continuing their year earlier this month with the young, rebuilding teams at the forefront of this movement.
"The eight teams that were left out are in constant contact with the league about getting some opportunities to get together in the offseason and get an opportunity to play and get access again, especially the rebuilding young teams," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said during an appearance on SportsCenter.
Although these teams would like to continue their development, the NBA is focused on keeping its players safe. The league already has players on teams that have secured playoff berths—like the Lakers' Avery Bradley—declining to come to Orlando for fear of catching the virus. As a result, it would be difficult to convince athletes on teams plummeting for a draft pick that it's necessary to play basketball.
Still, there are solutions for organizations that are genuinely focused on player development (and not how many ping-pong balls they have in the lottery). Insiders have heard suggestions of teams in close proximity, like the Pistons and Cavs, practicing each with other and playing scrimmages. They could also host organized team activities at regional sites similar to the NFL that players could attend at free will.