It’s no secret that Oklahoma City are in the midst of a full-blown rebuild.
Following a shocking yet exciting announcement in June by NBA commissioner Adam Silver that the NBA will be returning following the COVID-19 caused hiatus, it was then announced in early July that a possible “second bubble” could be introduced in Chicago for those teams who did not receive the golden ticket to Orlando.
It was announced by Silver that 22 NBA franchises would be headed to the Orlando bubble in order to complete the 2019-20 season and crown a champion.
Some of the names included LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers, and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks.
However for some teams, those of which held some of the poorer records, it was seen as unfair to miss out.
The league-wide hiatus that began in March, combined with a closure of practice facilities in order to protect the health of players, has already done enough damage to the players’ fitness, mentality and overall skills.
This can have an even bigger effect on the league’s younger players, many of which are developing their skillsets on teams that were not invited to the Orlando bubble, such as Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland, and Australian big man Thon Maker from the Detroit Pistons.
Therefore, it could be seen as vital that Silver and the NBA board of governors formulate a plan to create a second bubble.
Atlanta Hawks executive Travis Schlenk discussed the need to get his team some game time to continue the development and chemistry of their young players, such as rising star John Collins. Pistons coach Dwane Casey expressed similar opinions.
“We can’t let these guys sit around from March 11 to December without something,” Casey said, via ESPN. “It’s going to hurt their careers. It’s too long of a layoff.”
However, teams such as the Golden State Warriors, among others, are in quite different circumstances. With superstar shooters Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson coming back healthy next season to join Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins with championship aspirations, players may not want to further risk chances of injury among other possible issues.
As a result, fans should not expect to see many stars including Curry, Thompson, Green or Wiggins participating in Chicago.
Although it is highly unlikely fans will get to see Curry or Thompson participate in a Chicago bubble, there are a number of young stars who would devour the opportunity, such as Hawks star Trae Young and Cavaliers shooting guard Collin Sexton.
The NBA has discussed logistics of the Chicago bubble, with a minimum of two weeks of training and practice to rebuild team chemistry and fitness, followed by four games for each team. Although it does not seem like much, four games, training camps, and other opportunities for teams to play within their states would be better than nothing for their development.
According to one GM, “You probably won’t see Blake Griffin and guys like that, but I bet some veterans will show. These guys miss basketball. They’re itching to play.”
Only time will tell if a second NBA bubble will arise, however for those players and teams attempting to rebuild their winning culture and develop player skillsets, a lack of team basketball until December could be detrimental to their plans, therefore, a small tournament in theory could prove to be a great success.