Answers as to when and how the NBA season could resume may be on the horizon, according to new reports. Commissioner Adam Silver is said to have a June 1 target date to issue guidelines to teams and games may take place again weeks later.
That June 1 timeline would give players more insight into how group workouts would commence, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe. Certain teams have begun allowing players into training facilities for voluntary individual workouts as the season’s suspension passes the two-month mark. The report claims that the NBA is preparing a step-by-step plan to safely approach a season relaunch which would include a two-week period for players to return to their team’s market and quarantine themselves, followed by several weeks for individual workouts and finally, formal team training.
Should Silver give this plan the green light in early June, official games are said to begin in mid-July. New York Times reporter Marc Stein tweeted Thursday that teams are expecting the timeline to return begin with training camps on June 21 followed by games getting underway around July 15.
Many around the league have been buzzing about the same rough timeframe described in this tweet … practices that would launch one month from now … with an NBA season resumption date in the July 15 range … https://t.co/iHFoPniNGI
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 21, 2020
As for the remaining logistics of this scenario, Stein mentioned further details said to be ironed out in a Twitter thread. First, the league would need to finalize a hub location to hold all games and personnel. Orlando is said to be the likely contender as the league can make use of both the Disney-owned Wide World of Sports complex as well as the Orlando Magic’s home arena. Las Vegas is also reportedly in consideration.
Additionally, the league would likely follow the MLB’s suit by laying out a list of safety protocols to limit the risk imposed on all parties involved in restarting, as well as a detailed plan regarding COVID-19 testing. The format for game play is also expected to be outlined with answers to whether all NBA 30 teams would report to the central location or only those in playoff consideration.
It remains unknown if this reported plan will have any impact on the 2020-21 season, though officials have floated the idea of pushing back the start of next season to December.