Minnesota Timberwolves – Hoops Rumors Legitimate NBA free agent and trade rumors. 2020-08-03T20:31:59Z https://www.hoopsrumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Luke Adams <![CDATA[Latest On Potential Timberwolves Sale]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=167340 2020-07-31T21:04:05Z 2020-07-31T21:04:05Z As Glen Taylor considers a potential sale of the Timberwolves, one of his top priorities is making sure the team remains in Minnesota. Sources tell Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic that any purchase agreement will likely include steep financial penalties for moving the franchise, while Chris Hine of The Star Tribune reports that the Wolves already have an agreement with the city to pay a $50MM penalty if they move before 2035.

As Glen Taylor considers a potential sale of the Timberwolves, one of his top priorities is making sure the team remains in Minnesota. Sources tell Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic that any purchase agreement will likely include steep financial penalties for moving the franchise, while Chris Hine of The Star Tribune reports that the Wolves already have an agreement with the city to pay a $50MM penalty if they move before 2035.

Meanwhile, Krawczynski writes that Taylor and the Timberwolves have been “inundated” with interest over the last couple weeks. According to The Athletic, there are at least five “legitimate” bidders besides the groups that include former NBA players Kevin Garnett and Arron Afflalo.

While it remains to be seen which group might emerge as the most serious suitor for the Timberwolves, Taylor tells The Star Tribune that one group – a family from out of state – is further along in the process than the others.

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Luke Adams <![CDATA[Latest On Possibility Of Timberwolves Sale]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166957 2020-07-28T20:24:19Z 2020-07-28T20:01:19Z The Straus Group, an investment firm founded by Daniel Straus, is exploring the possibility of purchasing the Timberwolves, people with knowledge of the matter tells Gillian Tan of Bloomberg. It’s not clear if The Straus Group is operating alone or as part of a consortium, according to Tam.

Straus has been involved in NBA team ownership in the past, having controlled shares of the Grizzlies up until 2018. Majority owner Robert Pera bought out Straus and fellow minority stakeholder Steve Kaplan two years ago after a clause in their purchase agreement was triggered — if Pera hadn’t purchased Straus’ and Kaplan’s shares in the team, he would’ve had to sell the Grizzlies to them at the same valuation.

Straus is one of just many potential bidders in the mix for the Timberwolves, per Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News, who tweets that a number of people and groups with interest have not yet been publicly identified. Former NBA players Kevin Garnett and Arron Afflalo are believed to be part of two separate groups with interest in purchasing the franchise.

[RELATED: Glen Taylor Discusses Potential Timberwolves Sale]

According to Charley Walters of The St. Paul Pioneer Press, Garnett’s group includes a pair of billionaires from California and another one from Florida. Walters suggests that the plan would be for KG to invest $200MM and to become the head of basketball operations if his group were to buy the team. If that’s accurate, it’s not clear what it would mean for current president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas.

Walters also reports that the asking price for the Timberwolves – along with the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx – is expected to be in the $1.2 billion range, though that’s obviously subject to change depending on how the bidding plays out.

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Luke Adams <![CDATA[Ade Murkey Interviewed With Wolves]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166886 2020-07-27T22:00:27Z 2020-07-27T22:00:27Z
  • University of Denver guard Ade Murkey, a Minnesota native, has interviewed with his hometown Timberwolves during the pre-draft process, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). Murkey averaged 18.6 PPG and 6.3 RPG with a .481/.400/.731 shooting line as a senior.
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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[NBA Nears Agreement On Workouts For Teams Not In Orlando]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166636 2020-07-26T21:21:27Z 2020-07-25T14:50:53Z The NBA is close to finalizing plans for the eight teams not in Orlando to hold practices and group workouts, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports.

    Under the proposal, those teams would be allowed a week of practice at their home facilities, beginning the second week of August. They might also conduct two weeks of group workouts and scrimmages at two of those sites.

    The plan would have to be approved by the National Basketball Players Association but talks have progressed to point where an announcement could be made next week, according to Bonnell. If those teams do agree to the two-week workout and scrimmage sessions, they would be subject to the same safety protocols as the players at the Orlando campus.

    The teams not currently in Orlando are the Hornets, Pistons, Knicks, Bulls, Timberwolves, Hawks, Cavaliers and Warriors.

    Many of those teams have been pushing for some sort of organized activities, feeling they’re at a competitive disadvantage compared to the teams on the Orlando campus. However, the Knicks were reportedly reluctant to hold scrimmages against other clubs since they have numerous free agents on their roster.

    Currently, players on those teams are only allowed to work on individual skills development, Bonnell notes.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Arron Afflalo Involved In Group Bidding On Timberwolves]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166566 2020-07-24T19:50:59Z 2020-07-24T19:49:41Z A prospective ownership group putting together an offer for the Timberwolves includes former NBA guard Arron Afflalo, two people with knowledge of the bid tell Pat Graham and Dave Campbell of The Associated Press.

    According to the AP duo, venture capitalist Brock Berglund would be “spearheading the financing,” though the group would consist of two to five people with a combined net worth exceeding $10 billion. Afflalo would be the face of the group, which plans to submit its bid no later than this weekend, per Graham and Campbell.

    The Associated Press’ report also notes that Afflalo’s group is a diverse one that is “seeking to place minorities in positions of power and uplift the community in the wake of the death of George Floyd.”

    Previous reports indicated that former Timberwolves star Kevin Garnett is part of a group preparing a bid for the Timberwolves, now that team owner Glen Taylor is increasingly open to a sale. It doesn’t sound as if Garnett and Afflalo are part of the same group.

    While Garnett’s connection to the franchise is obvious, Afflalo’s involvement in the bidding process is a little more surprising. The 34-year-old’s career earnings, per Basketball-Reference, totaled about $59MM, a fraction of Garnett’s $343MM. Additionally, Afflalo, who made his NBA debut in 2007 and spent 11 seasons in the league, suited up for six different teams, but the Wolves weren’t one of them.

    Nonetheless, sources tell The Associated Press that the team wouldn’t be relocated if it’s sold to Afflalo’s group. Keeping the franchise in Minnesota has been a top priority for Taylor as he weighs his options.

    It’s not clear what other bidders besides Afflalo’s and Garnett’s groups may be in the mix. The Wilf family – which owns the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings – was said to be interested, but despite some initial discussions, the Wilfs reportedly aren’t engaged in any active talks about purchasing the Wolves. Still,

    Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic says (via Twitter) that there has been a “flood of interest” since word broke that Taylor is exploring a sale. Krawczynski notes that there were six of seven groups “already at the table” earlier in the week.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Glen Taylor Discusses Potential Timberwolves Sale]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166376 2020-07-22T21:04:17Z 2020-07-22T21:04:33Z 4:04pm: The Raine Group approached the Vikings owners a few months ago to gauge their interest in purchasing the Timberwolves, sources tell Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link). However, according to Krawczynski, while there were some initial discussions, there are no active talks with the Wilf family about the Wolves at this time.


    10:12am: After word broke on Tuesday that Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor had retained The Raine Group to explore selling the franchise, Taylor spoke to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic about the possibility of a sale.

    As Taylor explained, he’s willing to get more serious about the idea at this point because he feels as if the organization is in a good place with Gersson Rosas installed as the head of basketball operations and Ryan Saunders as the head coach.

    “I think I put a really good team together with the Timberwolves,” Taylor said, referring to those franchise leaders. “I feel really good about that. There’s a good team there. Both the player bunch and the business bunch. So I think I’ve done my responsibility there to have that so it can go on and become better.”

    Former Timberwolves star Kevin Garnett is part of one group that has emerged as a serious suitor for the team, as we relayed on Tuesday. Garnett posted a message on Twitter on Tuesday night expressing his “passion” for the Wolves and his deep affection for the city of Minneapolis, noting that he hopes he and Taylor can work out a deal.

    According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Wilf family – which owns the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings – is also a serious candidate to purchase the NBA franchise. The Wilfs oversaw the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota and are building a state-of-the-art training facility for the Vikings. Zygi WilfMark Wilf, and Leonard Wilf also been active in the community, donating $5MM to COVID-19 relief and another $5MM to social justice causes this year.

    Both Garnett and the Wilfs have strong local ties, which should strengthen their potential bids. As Krawczynski details, Taylor has made it clear to possible buyers that they must commit to keeping the Wolves in Minnesota in order to receive serious consideration.

    “People have inquired who are interested, and very interested and have the money, but they want to move a team,” Taylor said. “They are not a candidate. We’ve made that very clear. In those terms, nothing has changed.”

    Here’s more on a possible sale of the Timberwolves:

    • According to both Schefter and Krawczynski, New York real estate developer Meyer Orbach is one potential bidder to watch. Orbach is a current Wolves minority stakeholder who has amassed more and more shares of the franchise and is a highly visible member of the ownership group, per Krawczynski.
    • Sources have told The Athletic that Taylor will be seeking north of $1 billion for the team. It remains to be seen just how far north of $1 billion that price tag could go — the club was valued at $1.375 billion by Forbes earlier this year.
    • Brian Windhorst, Bobby Marks, and Tim Bontemps of ESPN took a closer look at the possibility of a Wolves sale, citing sources who estimated Taylor could get more than $1.5 billion for the team if he were willing to allow it to be moved. Since he’s not, the price could be closer to the $1.25 billion valuation the Grizzlies received last year when Robert Pera bought out his partners.
    • It’s possible that a buyer would want to purchase a smaller portion of the team before eventually taking over for Taylor as the controlling owner, like Joe Tsai did in recent years with the Nets. However, there’s a strong chance that Taylor will “hand over the keys to the castle” immediately if a sale is completed, according to Krawczynski. “I own a whole bunch of companies and my life is pretty complex,” Taylor said. “… Just another year or two have gone by. I just think as time goes on, I’m more inclined to say I should probably get my house in order here.”
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Hollinger: How Will Wolves Address Holes In Lineup?]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166243 2020-07-23T21:38:05Z 2020-07-22T01:30:53Z
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic questions whether the Warriors really need to prioritize acquiring a center this offseason and explores how the Timberwolves might address their shooting guard and forward spots.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Kevin Garnett Part Of Group Preparing Bid For Wolves]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166258 2020-07-21T22:25:25Z 2020-07-21T22:24:27Z 5:24pm: Garnett wants to keep the Wolves in Minnesota if his group is successful in its bid, sources tell Charania (Twitter link).


    4:58pm: Former Timberwolves star Kevin Garnett is part of a group of investors preparing a bid to submit to Wolves owner Glen Taylor in the hopes of purchasing the franchise, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

    As we detailed in our earlier story about Taylor exploring a possible sale of the Wolves, Charania initially reported that Garnett’s group was seriously interested in the team and was exploring the possibility of a bid. Now it sounds as if KG’s group is close to officially putting an offer on the table.

    A Hall-of-Famer, Garnett didn’t win a championship until after he was traded to the Celtics, but enjoyed the most productive years of his NBA career in Minnesota. He averaged 19.8 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 4.3 APG, and 1.6 BPG in 970 games (37.3 MPG) over 14 seasons with the Wolves, including the last couple years of his career. Garnett was a 10-time All-Star, a four-time rebounding champion, and the 2004 MVP during his time with the franchise.

    However, Garnett hasn’t been on good terms with Taylor for the last several years, having previously suggested that he felt there was an understanding he would join the Wolves’ front office after his retirement — and that Taylor reneged on that agreement following the death of Flip Saunders. Still, even when Garnett has criticized Taylor, he has always stressed his fondness for Minnesota and the Timberwolves.

    “My years in Minnesota and in that community, I cherish,” Garnett told Shams Charania of The Athletic in April when discussing why his number hadn’t been retired by the Wolves. “At this point, I don’t want any dealings with Glen Taylor or Taylor Corp. or anything that has to do with him. I love my Timberwolves, I’ll always love my guys, I’ll always love the people who f–k with me there. I’ll always have a special place for the city of Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota in my heart.”

    Although Garnett made a staggering $343MM+ over the course of his 21-year NBA career, per Basketball-Reference, he probably isn’t in position to become the majority owner of a franchise valued at $1.375 billion by Forbes earlier this year. It’s not yet clear what other investors are part of Garnett’s group.

    As we noted in our earlier story, Taylor has retained The Raine Group to explore a sale of the Timberwolves and has made it clear he’s not interested in selling to a group that wants to relocate the team. Presumably, given his connection with Minnesota, KG’s goal would be to keep the Wolves in their current location, though he has also talked in the past about wanting to bring the NBA back to Seattle.

    Taylor also told Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link) today that if a sale is completed, he’d expect his WNBA team – the Minnesota Lynx – to be part of it.

    “The way I run it, it’s all one thing,” Taylor said. “I would assume we would want to keep it that way and make it more efficient.”

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Glen Taylor Exploring Sale Of Timberwolves]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166244 2020-07-21T21:14:01Z 2020-07-21T21:13:45Z 4:13pm: Taylor tells Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter links) that The Raine Group approached him about a potential buyer, but it didn’t work out because the group wanted to relocate the franchise.

    “People have inquired who are interested but they want to move the team,” Taylor said. “They are not a candidate. We’ve made that very clear.”

    Although that offer didn’t gain traction, there are other potential options available that are being explored, Krawczynski notes.

    According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter), Kevin Garnett is part of one group of investors that has serious interest in buying the Timberwolves and is exploring a bid.


    3:30pm: Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has retained The Raine Group to explore a sale of the franchise, three people with direct knowledge of the situation tell Scott Soshnick of Sportico.

    According to Soshnick, multiple parties have already bid on the team. One of Soshnick’s sources suggests that a sale agreement could even be reached within the next month.

    Taylor’s decision is unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Soschnick, who adds that the Wolves’ owner didn’t want a public auction and instead asked Raine to directly seek out a buyer.

    The Raine Group, a global merchant bank, has experience dealing in the sports world, having previously worked with FIFA to raise capital for the World Cup, Soshnick notes. The firm also assisted in the sale of a $500MM stake in Manchester City FC to private equity giant Silver Lake.

    Taylor has owned the Timberwolves since 1994, having paid a reported $88MM for the franchise at the time. Earlier this year, Forbes estimated that the current value of the Wolves is $1.375 billion.

    Although the Wolves experienced some success early in Taylor’s tenure, making the postseason eight straight times when Kevin Garnett was on the roster, the club only advanced beyond the first round once, in 2004. Minnesota didn’t make the playoffs for the next 13 years and has also missed out in each of the last two seasons following a 2018 postseason appearance.

    The Wolves have struggled to build around their star players since 2004, trading away Garnett and eventually doing the same with Kevin Love. The team is now in the process of trying to find the right pieces to complement star big man Karl-Anthony Towns.

    In addition to their lack of success on the court, the Wolves have had their ups and downs off the court. Most notably, Garnett – the longtime face of the franchise – has been on bad terms with Taylor for years, having suggested that, after Flip Saunders passed away, the Wolves owner reneged on an agreement to have KG join the front office. Garnett referred to Taylor as a “snake” as recently as this spring.

    If Taylor, a Minnesota native and a former Minnesota State Senator, moves forward and attempts to finalize a sale, he seems likely to do so with a buyer that would be committed to keeping the team in Minnesota, as Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets. The Wolves ranked last in the NBA in attendance during the 2019/20 season, so some potential suitors would likely be interested in exploring the possibility of relocation.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[NBA Moves 2020 Draft Lottery To August 20]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166231 2020-07-21T18:47:13Z 2020-07-21T18:47:13Z The NBA has moved up its 2020 draft lottery by five days, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the event, previously tentatively scheduled for August 25, will now take place on Thursday, August 20.

    The eight teams with the best odds in this year’s lottery are the same eight teams that weren’t invited to participate in the resumption of the 2019/20 season in Orlando. The Warriors, Cavaliers, and Timberwolves each have a 14.0% chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick, followed by the Hawks (12.5%), Pistons (10.5%), Knicks (9.0%), Bulls (7.5%), and Hornets (6.0%).

    The other six teams that will be part of the 2020 lottery will be determined once this season’s 16 playoff teams have been set, which will happen a few days before August 20. The six clubs in Orlando that don’t make the postseason will occupy the bottom six spots in the lottery standings — their order will be determined by their records as of March 11.

    [RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: NBA Draft Lottery]

    The tentative 2020 NBA draft lottery odds, assuming the Grizzlies, Magic, and Nets all hang onto their playoff spots, can be found right here. This year’s draft will take place on October 16.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Draft Updates: Petrusev, Livers, Verge, Stanley]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166136 2020-07-20T19:48:48Z 2020-07-20T19:48:48Z Gonzaga big man Filip Petrusev won’t return to the Zags for his junior season. As first reported by Nova.rs – and later confirmed by Jeff Goodman of Stadium, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, and Jonathan Givony of ESPN (all Twitter links) – the native of Serbia is returning to his home country, having agreed to a multiyear deal with Mega Bemax.

    Petrusev, who averaged 17.5 PPG and 7.9 RPG during a breakout sophomore season at Gonzaga, entered the 2020 NBA draft pool in the spring. For now, his plan is to keep his name in this year’s draft, according to Givony, who had the 20-year-old ranked 70th overall on ESPN’s big board.

    Now that his NCAA eligibility is no longer a concern, Petrusev won’t have to finalize that decision by the NCAA’s early entrant withdrawal deadline of August 3. He can instead take until October 6 (the NBA’s withdrawal deadline) to make up his mind.

    Here’s more on the 2020 draft:

    • After testing the draft waters, forward Isaiah Livers will head back to Michigan for his senior year, the school announced in a press release. “While it was a limited process due to COVID-19, I want to thank all the NBA teams who took the time to talk to me,” Livers said in a statement. “The information I gathered is going to be invaluable moving forward. But now, we have unfinished business in Ann Arbor.” Livers averaged 12.9 PPG and shot 40.2% from beyond the arc in 21 games (31.5 MPG) as a junior.
    • Arizona State guard Alonzo Verge Jr. is returning to school for his senior season, according to an announcement from the program (video link). Verge, who transferred to the Sun Devils after starting his college career at Moberly Area Community College in Missouri, averaged 14.6 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 2.3 APG in 28 games (26.8 MPG) in 2019/20.
    • Veteran player agent Jerome Stanley is joining Independent Sports & Entertainment, where he’ll co-represent his son, Duke prospect Cassius Stanley, per a SportsBusiness Journal report.
    • Arizona forward Zeke Nnaji, a Minneapolis native, is interviewing with his hometown Timberwolves this week, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News.
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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Prospect Hagedorn Gets Interview With T-Wolves]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=165932 2020-07-18T15:59:34Z 2020-07-18T01:00:03Z
  • South Dakota forward Tyler Hagedorn has been interviewed by the Timberwolves, Darren Wolfson of KSTP tweets. Hagedorn isn’t listed among ESPN’s top 100 prospects but the 6’10” Hagedorn did shoot 51.4% from long range as a senior.
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Nets Notes: LeVert, Crawford, Beasley, Chiozza]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=164876 2020-07-09T18:14:58Z 2020-07-09T18:01:18Z The absence of so many key players means Caris LeVert will have to take on a larger role for the Nets in Orlando, writes Greg Joyce of The New York Post. The 25-year-old guard has always been a reliable scorer, but he will need to serve as a play-maker and team leader with Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Spencer Dinwiddie, Taurean Prince, DeAndre Jordan, Wilson Chandler and Nicolas Claxton all unavailable.

    “I think for me it’s just taking on that challenge of being a leader, being the leader of that group,” LeVert said. “Going down there with some of the most experience on the team, playoff experience. I feel like I relish these types of opportunities and situations. Everything aside, I’m looking forward to going down there and seeing what we can do.”

    The restart will give LeVert a chance to prove he can be a third star in Brooklyn and show management it doesn’t have to pursue someone else to team with Irving and Durant. A strong performance could also raise his trade value if the Nets decide to go that route. He agreed to a three-year, $52.5MM extension last summer.

    “I feel good right now,” said LeVert, who missed 24 games earlier this season after thumb surgery. “I haven’t played in games since March so that’s the question I really don’t know. I feel good in my workouts though. And if I didn’t, I honestly wouldn’t be going down there to play. So I’m looking forward to getting out there.”

    There’s more on the Nets:

    • Adding Jamal Crawford and Michael Beasley shows that Brooklyn intends to be competitive in Orlando despite its depleted roster, observes Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. Schiffer looks at what the veteran duo can provide the Nets along with scoring punch.
    • Even with the additions, Brooklyn will need increased contributions from players such as Chris Chiozza and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, according to a NetsDaily article. Both could be competing for a chance to be on the roster next season. “I feel like it’s a big opportunity for me,” Chiozza said recently. “It’s something I’m looking forward to. I hope Spencer feels better, but if not, I’ll be ready to take on those extra minutes.”
    • The Nets’ misfortune could wind up costing the Timberwolves a first-round pick this fall, writes Michael Rand of The Star-Tribune. Minnesota will receive Brooklyn’s first-rounder as long as the Nets reach the playoffs, which no longer seems certain with the number of players sitting out.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Killian Hayes To Meet With Timberwolves]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=164553 2020-07-06T16:21:45Z 2020-07-06T16:21:45Z
  • Appearing on the Envergure podcast (French video link), agent Yann Balikouzou indicated that his client Killian Hayes will interview with the Timberwolves and Warriors, but doesn’t expect to talk to the Cavaliers, since they’re unlikely to draft a guard (hat tip to Darren Wolfson).
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[NBA Expected To OK Chicago Mini-Camps, Games For Bottom Eight Teams]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=164227 2020-07-02T21:19:36Z 2020-07-02T21:14:37Z 4:14pm: Within her full ESPN.com story on the proposed Chicago campus, MacMullan writes that most of the bottom eight teams would prefer to hold mini-camps in their own markets, but commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts – who have repeatedly expressed that they believe the Orlando campus will be safer than teams’ own markets – want to create a similar environment for the non-Orlando teams before they approve group workouts and scrimmages.

    Seven of the bottom eight teams – all except the Knicks – were on a call today with the NBA to discuss the issue, with the league seeking assurances that teams would send their players to Chicago, per MacMullan. There’s a belief that veterans like Stephen Curry and Blake Griffin may not travel to Chicago for the event, but that younger players would be more inclined to participate.

    Participation would be voluntary and the cost of setting up the campus would be split among the NBA’s 30 clubs, sources tell ESPN. MacMullan notes that some of the bottom eight teams want to wait a couple weeks to see how the Orlando plan plays out, while others are in favor of moving forward with a plan as soon as possible, since they don’t believe there’s a ton of time to work out the details.

    There’s still work to be done before the NBPA signs off on the plan, tweets K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.


    3:56pm: The NBA is close to signing off on creating a second campus location in Chicago for the league’s bottom eight teams who weren’t invited to Orlando, sources tell ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan (Twitter link via Adrian Wojnarowski).

    As MacMullan reports – and Woj relays – the eight clubs not invited to Orlando would be permitted to hold mini-training camps and inter-squad games in Chicago. The goal would be for the event to take place in September.

    The news comes as a bit of a surprise. Many of the clubs whose seasons are over have been pushing the NBA to allow some sort of offseason team activities along these lines, in the hopes of keeping their young players engaged and active during a nine-month gap between games. However, a report earlier this week suggested that the NBA wasn’t expected to approve mandatory OTAs, and there was skepticism that the league would go to the effort of creating another “bubble” without its massive TV deals – and its 2020 postseason – at stake.

    We’ll have to wait for more details on the NBA’s Chicago plan, but it seems safe to assume there would be more player opt-outs among the bottom eight teams than there have been among the top 22. As Bobby Marks of ESPN points out (via Twitter) that approximately 40 players on the non-Orlando teams could reach free agency in October, limiting their incentive to participate in a September mini-camp for teams they may be leaving a month later.

    The Warriors are the only team without any pending free agents on their roster, but Anthony Slater of The Athletic notes (via Twitter) that their preference has been to hold a controlled mini-camp in the Bay Area — not to participate in a de facto Summer League across the country.

    The Warriors, Timberwolves, Hornets, Bulls, Hawks, Knicks, Cavaliers, and Pistons are the eight teams not playing in Orlando this summer who would be invited to the Chicago campus, assuming the NBA and NBPA finalize an agreement.

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