As part of a joint statement issued this week, Atlanta Hawks president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk and head coach Lloyd Pierce indicated the Hawks “remain engaged in finding ways for our team to compete and continue the important growth and development that was a core focus for our team this season.” To that end, rumors have been circulating on how teams not invited to the 22-team Orlando bubble could navigate the extended offseason, and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently shed a bit of light on a few proposals.
At this early juncture, these discussions are seemingly preliminary, but Wojnarowski notes the potential for team workouts in July, “regional minicamps” in August (including three proposed games), organized team activities in September, and/or additional time at the beginning of training camp for the 2020-21 season. Prior to the NBA’s final decision, Hawks leadership made it known that they had developmental concerns if their young team was simply out of action for nine months or more. Given that other teams have voiced similar concerns including the reported worry that young players could “increasingly struggle with the extended separation from their franchises and the professional and personal structure offered there,” the NBA is set to work alongside these franchises to bridge the gap in some way.
It is crucial to keep in mind that there are many details to work through, ranging from television coverage of proposed regional games to negotiations with the NBPA on activities not currently outlined in the CBA. There seems to be some momentum toward providing an avenue for the Hawks — and the other seven teams in a similar position — to gather in a basketball setting sometime in the coming months, though, and it will be interesting to monitor the discussions.