More than two-thirds of NBA teams have opened up their practice facilities and players are going in now for individual, socially-distanced workouts. It’s expected that for many teams, those practice facilities will be home to the coming “training camp 2.0” phase as teams get back into form for a restart of the season, whatever form that takes.
What about teams in locations that have not opened, such as the Knicks, Celtics, and Raptors?
Those teams could be headed to the bubble city or cities early, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Among marketplaces where governmental restrictions are keeping practice facilities shuttered, teams are asking the NBA whether players can bypass returns to those cities and report directly to the league’s proposed campus environment for the start of training camps, sources told ESPN…
Teams want to avoid having to quarantine significant portions of their rosters twice — once upon returning to more restrictive markets, and again, at the bubble site.
In anticipation of the league’s expectation of restarting the season, the NBA has told those teams that it plans to work with them on solutions that possibly include redirecting some teams directly to campus/bubble sites instead of team facilities to hold training camps, sources said.
It makes sense that some teams will want to do their training camp inside the bubble. The downside of that is that it becomes three more weeks at the hotel/campus for those players — before some regular season and potentially some playoff games — and that’s a long time away from home and in a hotel. A lot of players are not fans of all that hotel time, but also understand the situation and tradeoff, and they want to get back to playing.
When teams do report to a bubble/campus city, they are going to have to trim their normal traveling staff down, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.
League sources say NBA teams have been informed they would likely be allowed to bring (roughly) 35 players/coaches/staff into a "campus" environment if the 2019-20 season, as increasingly expected, resumes in July
In normal circumstances, team travel parties routinely exceed 50
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 22, 2020
Teams are not going to cut back on training staffs, considering the fast ramp-up and condensed schedules that await players. That means equipment staff, some assistant coaches, and other personnel around the team could be left off the trips. Some people (likely some assistant coaches) are not going to be happy they didn’t make the essential staff lists.
How teams and players react to the bubble environment is going to be one of the interesting things to watch going into June and July.