A deal is close to being finalized for Chicago to be the host for a second NBA bubble environment that will welcome the eight teams uninvited to the restart of the season in Orlando, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Thursday afternoon.
The vision is for the teams to host mini-training camps and then compete against one another in games. The target date to conduct it is September, ESPN reported. Wintrust Arena is a venue under consideration to host the action, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago reported. The arena is connected to a hotel.
Many executives and coaches of the "Delete Eight" teams that were left home -- the Bulls, Cavaliers, Pistons, Knicks, Hawks, Hornets, Timberwolves and Warriors -- had expressed concern to the league about the long layoff being a competitive disadvantage. With NBA action halted by the coronavirus in mid-March and next season not scheduled to start until December, teams were facing a nine-month layoff between game action.
NBA Players Association executive director Michelle Roberts has emphasized that the safety protocols of a second NBA bubble must be every bit as stringent and focused as those being implemented in Orlando, where 22 teams are scheduled to play eight more games to finish the regular season before the start of the playoffs. That restart starts in late July.