Minnesota Timberwolves: The NBA is probably going to return… in Orlando

The Minnesota Timberwolves have nothing to play for when the NBA season returns. That said, they will still likely have multiple games to play before it will be considered the offseason.

According to Sports Illustrated, the NBA will play some regular-season games rather than skipping directly into the playoffs. In order to meet media promises for local markets, the likely threshold that has to be met is 70 total games. This means the Timberwolves still have half a dozen games left, should the NBA go this route.

The NBA is also, in all likelihood, going to have one neutral location for all games to be played (or a ‘bubble site’). In terms of certain restrictions upon leaving the location, which will hold housing, food, and be the home of any NBA player, staff, and media member, there has yet to be an agreement reached between the league and the players’ association. This means that as of right now, anything and everything is on the table as of right now in terms of each player’s family being with them, overall testing availability, and again, freely leaving/entering the ‘bubble site’.

For the Timberwolves, who will only play six games then leave, there is not much incentive to play at all. It will be undoubtedly nice to see Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell suit up for multiple games together, but on the other end of the scale, you do not want to risk injury for either player nor any other member of the team.

Additional games do mean that Minnesota will have more time to evaluate the potential worth of players such as Malik Beasley, Juan Hernangomez, and Jordan McLaughlin. Although, being in a Summer-League-type setting will be interesting from the fan perspective — with games starting early in the day and continuing throughout the evening.

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According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (subscription required), the league is also considering a variety of different options for re-starting the season including an “enhanced playoffs” that could feature a play-in tournament or even a group stage, like many soccer tournaments.