One Cavs vet reportedly believes not many vets would play in second ‘bubble,’ which is understandable

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images /

The NBA is reportedly in “deep discussions” on having a second “bubble” for non-Orlando teams, such as the Cleveland Cavaliers, but that still doesn’t seem at all set-in-stone.

The 2019-20 season is formally over for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who had the league’s second-worst going into the novel coronavirus-induced hiatus.

Cleveland was just 19-46, and as such, they were one of the league’s bottom eight teams that were not invited to the season’s resumption via centralized site set to start again later this month in Orlando.

The Cavs 2019-20 campaign abruptly ending was a bit unfortunate, because they were playing pretty well post-All-Star break, in which J.B. Bickerstaff took over the head coaching reigns.

Though it was only a small 11-game sample size, Cleveland was a more respectable 5-6 going into the hiatus, and in that span, they had the league’s sixth-best assist rate and were 10th in effective field goal shooting rate.

The club seemed to have some momentum building heading into what was originally set to be the last 17 games of the season.

With non-Orlando teams not set to play in games potentially until December, teams such as the Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks and Detroit Pistons and others were reportedly pushing for the league to have some sort of mini-Summer League-type action. That was to be with regional joint practices before the 2020-21 campaign tipped off and/or OTA’s, feasibly in the early fall.

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That was not anything set-in-stone, though, due to potential exposure to COVID-19.

That said, teams such as the Cavaliers and others that are rebuilding are concerned about young players needing reps to continue progress in their development, with an extended layoff. Both sides of that I acknowledge, too.

It does appear that non-Orlando teams could end up having some action before the start of next season, at any rate. I wouldn’t expect it to have impact on lottery odds honestly, though.

According to a report on Thursday from ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, the NBA is is in “deep discussions” on having a second “bubble” location for non-Orlando teams in Chicago.

This would involve those teams having a “mini-training camp and subsequent games against other clubs with a target date of September,” per MacMullan.

Teams in that situation seem to favoring the idea more of holding their own mini-camps “within their local markets” and try to work out some regional scrimmaging, though, noted MacMullan.

The key here is that union head Michele Roberts is insistent on teams in this potential scenario having the same safety standards that Orlando teams are having in terms of daily testing for COVID-19. NBA commissioner Adam Silver aligns with her in that regard, too, per MacMullan.

From there, though, while it is clear that teams in this sort of situation are worried about young pieces not having valuable developmental time, MacMullan touched on a key bit of information. She expressed that Detroit head coach Dwane Casey noted that the majority of non-Orlando head coaches prefer teams running their own mini-camps.

This second bubble will “be created at a substantial cost that will be split among the 30 teams,” reported MacMullan, though. That’d seem to say again, this would appear to be anything but set-in-stone.

In terms of parameters, MacMullan also hit on how the league has talked about having nearly “two weeks of practice,” then four contests, though playing would be “voluntary.”

For young players on the Cavs, such as Darius Garland, Collin Sexton and Kevin Porter Jr. this could allow them to get some more reps in against other clubs. For their development, specifically, that sort of thing could be productive, while again, seemingly not having an impact on lottery odds with a Summer League-like format.

Porter, for example, could get some reps in at the 1 position in games, which Bickerstaff wanted to see Porter appear at at times in the last part of the season, and perhaps in this sort of setting, we could see glimpses of that.

KPJ had an assist rate of 17.1 percent in his last 12 games active, and it’d be intriguing to see if he could show some potential as being a primary playmaker in this sort of setting, at least for a bit. Maybe we could see some of Dylan Windler, who did not play in 2019-20 due to complications involving a stress reaction in his left leg.

Again, this sort of second “bubble,” though it’s anything but certain if it will eventually happen, would seem to have clear meaning for young players such as Porter, but what about veterans?

According to a report from’s Chris Fedor, a Cavs veteran said he “probably” wouldn’t play if the second centralized location for non-Orlando teams does get the go-ahead by the league.

That sort of thing from that Cleveland Cavaliers veteran is understandable, and I wouldn’t expect many vets to participate, either.

Along with that, that said Cavs vet emphasized, per Fedor, in terms of participation, how he doubts “many vets will.”

Fedor did note how with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ expiring players, in Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova and Ante Zizic, given the timeline of this offseason, could technically participate in this format.

Andre Drummond somewhat falls in that line, too, but he reportedly fully intends to pick up his $28.8 million player option for 2020-21, and even with him not playing much with the Cavs yet, I wouldn’t expect him to participate. Albeit I wouldn’t expect that to be the case for TT, Delly and Zizic, either.

Also, while Fedor noted how Zizic is drawing “heavy interest” from overseas, and Real Madrid, in particular, Zizic has reportedly reached an agreement with Real Madrid for next season already, and I wouldn’t expect him to take part.

Again, that Cavs veteran mentioning he likely wouldn’t play in this second “bubble” setting and hitting on how not many other vets he’d expect to play is understandable. It wouldn’t make sense in this type of thing for Kevin Love to participate, realistically, and I wouldn’t think from an in-game injury possibility, that he would.

Given the impact of COVID-19, and Roberts’ safety concerns, and likely many others, it’s anything but certain that this type of possibility will actually end up happening.

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Whether or not it does, though, don’t expect many vets to participate, and even more so based on that Cavs veteran’s comments noted by Fedor.