Just three days after “pessimism” loomed over the potential for off-season activities, a new report provides a ray of Orlando sunshine for the Atlanta Hawks and the rest of the “Delete Eight.” Sam Amick of The Athletic, who earlier reported a “growing belief” that a second bubble scenario would not come to fruition, brings word that “NBA officials made it clear during a Wednesday call with governors that they are still trying to find a solution” for the non-bubble teams. To that end, one such exploration reportedly includes a trip... to the NBA’s already operational campus in Orlando.
What if those eight teams joined the rest of their colleagues inside the Walt Disney World bubble for training after the eliminated teams departed? Sources say the NBA has been exploring that possibility for quite some time now, and that the idea was raised most recently on the aforementioned governors call. And in some ways, it makes perfect sense.
As Amick also notes, non-bubble teams are “deeply concerned about the prospect of their players going eight-plus months without playing in an NBA-approved team setting.” That undoubtedly extends to the Hawks, with the team repeatedly on the record with a desire to participate in on-court activities in some form.
Though the NBA Playoffs will extend into October, six teams currently in Orlando will be leaving by Aug. 17, providing open space to potentially accommodate the Hawks and other teams. It is crucial to note that details are sparse at this point — including no mention of game play in The Athletic’s reporting — but this is a scenario could lead to something more tangible in the near future. If nothing else, the Walt Disney World site could provide a safe place for practice and workouts.
It remains to be seen as to whether the NBA and the NBPA can come together on a plan that makes everyone happy. Still, this is a point of optimism on a topic without much of that in recent days, and the Hawks would certainly love to be able to bring their players and coaches together for league-sanctioned activities this summer.