On Aug. 14, word broke that the NBA and the NBPA were in “serious talks” for non-bubble teams to participate in voluntary workouts at some point in September. For the Atlanta Hawks, that is welcome news in an attempt to mitigate the extended hiatus and, on Tuesday evening, additional details arrived from Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The NBA and NBPA have reached agreement for the eight franchises who were not part of Orlando restart to conduct voluntary group workouts while residing in campus settings, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 19, 2020
From there, the NBA and the NBPA announced an agreement “to engage in voluntary group workouts at their team facilities while residing in a campus-like environment under controlled conditions.” Within the agreement, there is essentially the formation of bubbles within each market, with everything unfolding in two stages.
Daily COVID-19 testing and voluntary individual work will occur between Sept. 14 and Sept. 20. That first phase will be followed by a second phase — from Sept. 21 through Oct. 6 — that “will consist of group training activities in market, which may include practices, skill or conditioning sessions and intra-squad scrimmages, and the continuation of daily COVID-19 testing.”
The second phase will feature what is described as a “campus-like environment” in each market, with “private living accommodations for all participating players and team staff.” In addition, players and staff are required to stay on campus for participation.
Everything is voluntary with these workouts and, in order to expand the player pool, each organization is allowed to include up to five players that are not currently under contract. However, those players had to be under a G League contract and assigned to the team’s G League affiliate during the 2019-20 season.
For the Hawks, this is a victory, albeit a small one. Atlanta was vocal in a united desire for offseason activity and, in short, this is a published agreement that outlines a path for a return to the floor. The next steps will be interesting, including which players and staff will participate, but fans can now circle Sept. 14 as an important date on the calendar.