The Cleveland Cavaliers might just be back on the court come September.
Word is getting out that the NBA is, in fact, trying to get the eight non-Orlando teams in their own bubble up in Chicago. The news broke from Adrian Wojnarowski via Jackie MacMullan. The bubble would see the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Charlotte Hornets, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, Minnesota Timberwolves, the Golden State Warriors, and of course the Cleveland Cavaliers take the court.
The idea of the fall-bubble league would be to have a mini-camp and games in order to make sure talent are getting a good workout and proper training before the start of the belated 2020-2021 season.
That rationale alone makes this a good idea, as many players are now on five months of no basketball since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. For a point of reference, the NBA offseason for non-playoff teams is only about six months. For playoff teams, it’s around three-four months. So this is a long layoff already. By the time the fall league would start, that would be roughly seven months since most players touched a court as a team. So this alone makes it a good idea.
What if the NBA incentives it though, that way the teams and players have more of a reason to play hard?
With the NBA Draft scheduled for October 16, and the NBA regular season not expected to start until December 1 at the earliest, it’s entirely possible that this fall league is wrapped up by the Draft. If that’s the case, why not put an extra draft pick or two in there for teams to vie for?
No crazy idea like re-arranging the Draft lottery order to whoever wins the most games, or making sure the No. 1 pick goes to the winners. No, something more lowkey. Why not the 31st pick in the Draft? Not just taking a pick away from a team, either. Let everyone keep the draft picks they have, just after the first round, slide everyone back one spot, and have the 31st pick in the draft go to the team with the best record/champions of the fall-bubble? That way there are 61 picks in this year’s draft. You could also up the number to 63 picks, and have pick No. 31 and 32 go to the winner/best record and the No. 33 pick go to the runner up.
That would give some incentive for teams to try harder but players might need a little extra. So why not put some money on the line? How about an extra million dollars goes to the players of the best team? Seems fair. That way the organization gets some picks and the players get some cash; on top of what they were already going to earn.
This is a great idea, and one if properly incentivized could give fans even more exciting basketball across the league.