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NBA in talks with teams, including Hawks, about second ‘bubble’ scenario

102715 ATLANTA: -- A new Hawks logo is painted on the tunnel wall leading out to the court for the first regular season basketball game "home opener" on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015, in Atlanta.  Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com
102715 ATLANTA: -- A new Hawks logo is painted on the tunnel wall leading out to the court for the first regular season basketball game "home opener" on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

The NBA is discussing a second “bubble” scenario in Chicago for the eight teams excluded from the season restart in Orlando, a person familiar with the situation confirmed to the AJC.

The proposal, which would allow for games and mini-training camps among Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, New York, Chicago, Charlotte, Minnesota and Golden State, was first reported by ESPN. It still is in the works and would have to be approved by the Players Association. Since knowing their seasons were over, those eight teams have been working together to figure out offseason plans (out of caution, practice facilities are still fairly restricted and no team activity is allowed).

Per ESPN, the timeline would be for September and participation would be voluntary, and play within the “bubble” would be similar to a summer league format.

The Hawks would be supportive of their players getting the opportunity to play, according to a person familiar with the situation. All-Star point guard Trae Young voiced his support for the plan on Twitter. However, general manager Travis Schlenk has been vocal that not all players will have the same desire to participate in a return to play or team activity, whatever that ends up looking like.

“We’ve tried to be very mindful of that as we’ve tried to put together a proposal to take to the league, and realizing that there’s guys in different stages of their career,” Schlenk said in early June. “So it’s just something that we’ll have to negotiate.”

As an exceptionally young team, though, the Hawks have been vocal about their desire to keep playing and developing.

The NBA season was suspended because of the coronavirus March 11, and the 16 teams that were in playoff contention plus the six teams that were within six games of contention will restart their seasons July 30 in Orlando. The league announced on June 4 that lottery odds for the 14 teams that do not make the playoffs will be seeded based off their records as of March 11.

According to ESPN, there’s a push among the eight teams for the league to allow minicamps in their respective markets and allow scrimmages at regional sites, but union leader Michele Roberts has insisted the same “bubble” format being used in Orlando, with daily testing and quarantine requirements, be used with these eight teams.