There has been a buzz around the league for a while now that some teams — maybe eight or more — would opt-out of the G-League bubble plan for the season.
The Celtics’ Maine Red Claws are the first one we know about to do just that, thanks to reporting from Jared Weiss of The Athletic.
The Maine Red Claws are opting out of the expected NBA G-League bubble, sources told The Athletic. The G-League does not yet have plans for a second phase of the season, so the team expect to punt on the season unless there are further developments.
Expect more reports of teams sitting out to come in this week.
The goal is to host a bubble in Atlanta in January, and the league wants to know which teams are in and which are out. The bubble calls for about 16 regular season games, plus a playoff format, for the G-League teams — a chance for teams to get some development time with younger players, or guys on two-way contracts.
Boston is the first we know of to say they are out, but more who do not want to pay the $500,000 entrance fee plus absorb the costs to ramp up their G-League operations for a bubble will follow suit.
Boston is one of the organizations that has used the G-League well. Tacko Fall got a lot of run there as a two-way player, plus young regular roster players such as Carsen Edwards and Romeo Langford got some seasoning there.
Teams who are not looking to fill out the G-League roster are finding it more difficult to get players to agree to training camp contracts. Traditionally if a team likes a fringe player, they ask him to sign an Exhibit 10 contract that both brings him to training camp and gives him a $50,000 bonus if he signs with the franchise’s G-League team after camp. Almost all Exhibit 10 players follow that pattern. However, without the G-League contract and the bonus, players are considering other options.