Will there be a G League this season? Who knows.
There are discussions of various scenarios for a G-League campaign, including not holding one or expanding NBA rosters instead.
One plan could feature having a handful of week-long G-League showcases in a bubble setting to ensure young players stay active. If a more normalized G-League season is attempted, sources said it would have to be with a regionalized schedule to reduce travel.
Because G-League teams have modest budgets, clubs mostly fly commercial, which is risky amid the COVID-19 crisis. Teams occasionally bus to games against nearby clubs.
Safety concerns stem from G-League players intermingling with NBA players, whether through emergency signings or the recently established two-way contracts.
In 2017, each NBA team’s roster was expanded from 15 to 17 by allowing a pair of players on two-way contracts. However, those two-way players are permitted on the NBA club for a maximum of 45 days and spend the rest of the time with the G-League affiliate.
If there is no standard G-League next season, some agents hope the current players on two-way contracts will have their pacts converted to normal minimum NBA contracts, giving teams a full-blown 17-man roster.
Major League Baseball scrapped minor league play this past season and used “a taxi squad’’ to fill vacancies. The G-League was suspended on March 12 and never resumed.
G league select team as an option?
If a 2020-21 campaign happens, it will feature a fledgling G-League Select Team not affiliated with an NBA organization,
The new Gatorade-funded club will make its home base in Walnut Creek, Calif., and will be made up of recently graduated high school seniors, including stud Jalen Green, who didn’t want to go the one-and-done college route or head overseas like LaMelo Ball.
The select club is expected to host a tournament in November or December, facing random G-League players. Its existence is a motivator to stage a season, sources indicated.
Costs and NBA key dates
The G-League teams are either managed or owned by the NBA but are run on a much tighter budget. The amount of COVID-19 testing required to run a season with or without fans might be too costly.
There’s still an avalanche of issues the NBPA and the NBA need to hash out — from the new salary-cap reduction to training camp dates and the season opener. That is why the draft was pushed back from mid-October to Nov. 18, with free agency potentially beginning Dec. 1.
Commissioner Adam Silver said the next NBA season will begin in January at the earliest.