Over the past week, details have been sneaking out of a 2020-21 G League season. The NBA season will begin on December 22, for a 72-game campaign, but information surrounding the G League have been kept quiet.
The flurry of reports started on November 25. With Jordan Schultz of ESPN suggesting that the NBA were still pushing to host a G League season. Schultz stated that a spokesperson told him that they’re “committed to playing a 2020-21 season”.
Marc Stein of the New York Times then reported on November 27, that an option for the G League is hosting a bubble season in Atlanta. He did add that there would be a fee of $500,000 for NBA franchises to enter their affiliate teams.
Further details then came to fruition on November 29, courtesy of Adam Johnson. Who implied that a one-month bubble season could take part in Atlanta, with College Park being a possible location. The season would consist of a minimum 12 games, possibly 15-16 games, plus playoffs.
Johnson went onto state that a start date of late January could be possible, and that the new G League Ignite team for elite prospects “is expected to participate”. Further information included daily testing and a quarantine period for players.
With the various reports coming out in a short period of time, this does suggest that the NBA are doing their utmost to host a G League campaign. Late January sounds a long time away, but it’s only in 8-9 weeks. This is something that will most likely develop relatively quickly.
Concern Surrounding Two-Way Players:
A concern is how a bubble would work with two-way players, who are eligible to spend their time in both the NBA and G League. Such players are usually called up-and-down on a frequent basis. But having players repeatedly come in-and-out of a bubble environment isn’t ideal. Even with daily testing.
One option could fall with two-way players not participating in the 2020-21 G League season, at all. As they’re eligible to participate in up to 50 of the NBA’s 72-game schedule.
They would still have plenty of opportunities to develop and receive playing time at the top level. Especially in the early part of the season, as some established players might have their minutes limited.
Another option could be NBA teams sending their players away for the full month of the G League bubble. Players can enroll in a quarantine period before the season. Then, upon the conclusion, enter another quarantine period as they rejoin their parent team in the NBA.
These are all scenarios that have question marks around them. Nothing concrete has been announced as of yet in regards to a 2020-21 G League campaign. But hope has been restored with multiple reports, aligning with each other, releasing in quick succession.
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