The NBA is set to return in just over a month.
With July 30 date in mind, COVID-19 spiking in Florida has yet to cause any setbacks as the NBA is looking to create its own virus-free environment at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
In what is widely considered a smart move by the league, there will only be 22 teams returning.
Those were selected to be the group that either has a playoff spot locked up or are in contention for one. However, that leaves eight teams out of the loop and preparing for several months until the NBA Draft Lottery and the true kickoff of the offseason.
That concept hasn’t rested well with some teams and there is talk of another tournament in a similar environment. However, given all the barriers the league is currently jumping through, it seems likely that any additional action would not get passed by the board.
The frustration from most of these teams, sources say, is that the ones not in Orlando now face a competitive disadvantage going forward when it comes to player and culture development. But while many team officials are holding out hope that this might happen, and were even encouraged by the Thursday call (with NBA officials and members of the media), sources have also said all along that the NBPA might not agree to any such proposal.
It’s unknown if many of the other teams like Golden State and New York would share the same complaints towards not being included in the league’s restart.
Dubbed “The Delete Eight,” this would have to gain steam from seemingly all teams involved to even move the needle. That said, let’s just look forward to the league’s return with the 22 best teams.