The Minnesota Timberwolves might be able to have team workouts before mid-August.
The Minnesota Timberwolves haven’t been together as a team since early March, but that might be coaching in the coming weeks.
Talk of a potential Orlando-like bubble being recreated in Chicago for the eight teams not part of the league’s official restart has largely fizzled out in recent weeks. But the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell reports that the league is close to finalizing an agreement that will at least allow those teams to get on the court together in their home cities.
Minnesota Timberwolves Roundup: Wolves to hit the court in August?
While this proposal won’t exactly be the same as the bubble concept, it would allow teams the ability to gather as a group for a week of workouts.
Beyond that, teams would have the option of combining with another squad for scrimmages. It’s unclear if there would be any possibility of these games being televised at all, or if they’d have a feel more in line with training camp or preparation for summer league.
Of course, any version of this “Delete 8” restart would have to be held to the same health and safety standards as the Orlando bubble. While it is a bit daunting if all eight teams are training in eight different locations, there will also be fewer variables in all related to games, seeing players on other teams, etc.
If teams opt to participate in scrimmages, it sounds as if they’ll pair off and be limited to playing against one other team. For instance, the Wolves and Chicago Bulls could choose to have a couple of joint practices, but neither team would be able to go see Atlanta, Detroit, or any of the other non-Orlando teams.
It would be great for the young teams not in the bubble — Minnesota, Atlanta, and Chicago are the three that immediately come to mind — to have the chance to get some reps, as we’re likely at least four months from training camps opening for the 2020-21 season.
Elsewhere, Tom Thibodeau was hired by the New York Knicks to be their latest head coach. ESPN’s Kevin Pelton analyzed Thibodeau’s run in Minnesota, and what he might need to change in order to be successful with the Knicks (ESPN Plus required).
It will be interesting to see what Thibs can do with yet another young roster at his disposal and whether he and his employer, can each have the requisite patience to find sustainable success in the Big Apple.