Minnesota Timberwolves pushing to host non-Orlando teams

Malik Beasley is back with the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Malik Beasley is back with the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves are reportedly pushing to host the eight NBA teams not part of the Orlando re-start.

In what should come as a surprise to nobody, the Minnesota Timberwolves are reportedly one of the most vocal teams pushing to host the eight squads not included in the NBA’s Orlando re-start.

According to The Athletic’s Sam Amick (subscription required), the Wolves have not only been pushing for the eight non-Orlando teams to participate in a tournament-style environment similar to what is starting in Orlando in July, they’ve raised their hand as a possible host site.

Amick goes on to say that along with the Wolves, the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Detroit Pistons have been the most vocal franchises regarding the perceived competitive disadvantage to not being included in the 22-team re-start.

On the flip side, the New York Knicks have enough pending free agents and veterans that they are hoping to not need to participate in such an event, although Amick speculates that it would be more palatable if they were able to replace a portion of their roster with G League-level players.

Of course, it makes sense that teams like the Wolves, Hawks, and Cavs, three of the youngest in the league, are going to push much harder for a mini-re-start of their own — at least a lot harder than teams largely made up of veterans, such as New York and Golden State.

Between the Target Center and Mayo Clinic Square across the street, combined with the flattening number of COVID-19 cases in Minneapolis, the Wolves would be an ideal host for the “Delete 8” teams, as The Athletic’s John Hollinger has so lovingly called them.

A few more details from a recent call that included deputy commissioner Mark Tatum and NBA Players’ Association executive director Michele Roberts are lined out by K.C. Johnson at NBC Sports Chicago.

The primary concern from the league level, of course, is that whatever those eight teams agree upon, it includes the same stringent health and safety requirements and procedures as the Orlando teams are going through.

That would seem to be the only reason why these teams wouldn’t be allowed to hold such an event, however, as they have a legitimate concern related to a competitive disadvantage.

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We’ll continue to watch the situation unfold as the league continues to figure out how to navigate the most unique summer in league history.