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Cavs want to negate disadvantages of long layoff; games possible

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said his team wants the NBA to consider the competitive disadvantages for teams not playing in Orlando next month.
Credit: AP
Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Cleveland Cavaliers won't be a part of the NBA's resumed season next month.

But they may not have to wait until next season to play basketball again.

Speaking to reporters on a conference call on Tuesday, Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said that Cleveland is one of the teams that has asked the league to look at the competitive disadvantages for the eight teams that won't be playing in Orlando next month. And while nothing is definitive yet, Bickerstaff mentioned getting players back in their markets for training camps or even "competitive games" as possibilities being considered.

"The front office and leadership has reached out, we've had discussions with the other eight teams as coaches so that we can try to put something in place so that we can negate the disadvantages as best as we possibly can," Bickerstaff said. "How do we get guys together in market? How do we get some competitive games out of it? There's nothing definitive yet, but we are fighting and there are other teams fighting for sure."

Last week, the NBA Board of Governors approved a plan to return to action in Orlando, with 22 teams playing in eight regular-season games each before a traditional postseason tournament. With the NBA Finals potentially running through October, the start of the 2020-21 season will likely be delayed until December -- if not later.

Cleveland last played on March 10, one day before the NBA suspended its season due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. And considering the youth of the Cavs roster, Bickerstaff believes that a layoff of eight or more months is simply too long.

"Development is key for most of the teams that aren't in," Bickerstaff said. "Obviously Golden State is a different animal and they have different circumstances. But for most of us that aren't in, development is key. How do you expect to develop your guys if there is an eight-month layoff? 

"We're fighting like hell to get something done."

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