KSLSports.com - Report: Non Playoff Teams May Want NBA Summer Camp


Ben Anderson

.SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NBA is expected to announce its return this Thursday. The league’s Board of Governors will vote on a proposal from the league to restart the season in late July or early August. However, not all 30 NBA teams are planning to return. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, 22 teams are likely making their way to Orlando to complete the season. If the 2020-21 season doesn’t begin, how can the other eight NBA franchises stay ready for next season? A summer training camp may be the answer.

Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett campaigned for small market teams that may be unfairly burdened by the league’s hiatus. Though the Thunder, like the Utah Jazz, will unquestionably be invited back to finish the season, Bennett is worried about other franchises.

Teams that fade away from the public consciousness for a nine-month stretch may struggle to sell tickets next season. Furthermore, rebuilding teams will miss valuable practice opportunities to develop their young talent.

ESPN story with @ZachLowe_NBA inside the Board of Governors meeting on Friday, possible offseason camps for those teams left out of Orlando and structure still needing to be resolved with a 22-team format. https://t.co/lnReK6IsVd

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 1, 2020

Despite owning the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference, Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler wants to see his team invited to Orlando. However, testing logistics and safety may not allow it. Now the NBA may be considering allowing teams without an invite to reconvene during the summer to host a training camp.

NBA Summer Training Camp

However, inviting players on playoff teams back to the floor isn’t as simple as it sounds. First, the players association must agree to sacrifice their offseason to rejoin their teams. Then, they must agree to hold training camp at a point that doesn’t interfere with the NBA’s yet unscheduled free-agency period.

Even more complicated, how will pending free-agents on non-playoff teams feel about retaking the floor? Some players don’t know where they will suit up next season. Will they risk injury over a meaningless training camp? If not, how will their image as team players take a hit in free agency? Alternatively, what happens if an injury occurs?

Should the league choose to allow these teams to return, it will need answers on those pressing issues.

Thursday’s Vote

By Thursday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wants to have a plan for the Board of Governors to vote on. However, several details still need to be ironed out.

If the league brings back 22 teams, how will the final 16 playoff teams be decided? More importantly, how many games will be played to complete the regular season and potential play-in tournament?

Updated: NBA will vote Thursday in favor of July 31 return date. https://t.co/78Jczy4i6i

— KSL Sports (@kslsports) May 29, 2020

Several teams across the league can fulfill their regional sports network contracts by reaching the 70 game plateau. As it stands, all 30 teams have played between 63 and 67 games. Will every team have to play the same number of games if the league returns? Or, will final standings be set when each team hits 70 games?

Regardless of the outcome, Silver has a busy week ahead of him to prepare for Thursday’s vote.

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