National Basketball Association (NBA) teams are expecting the league to issue guidelines around June 1, allowing them to begin bringing back far-flung players in anticipation of resuming the virus-disrupted campaign, ESPN reported on Wednesday. It said teams are also awaiting an update around the same time on expanding individual workouts – already under way at some clubs – to include more team personnel.
Citing unnamed sources, ESPN added many owners and club executives believe league commissioner Adam Silver will make an announcement next month that the season, on ice since March 11, will resume “sometime before the end of July”.
Plans for a possible resumption include how to safely bring back overseas players who have returned home such as the Dallas Mavericks’ Slovenian guard Luka Doncic. More individual workouts and team training camps will also need to be conducted before play can resume.
The eventual format of the remainder of the season remains under discussion by league officials, the players’ union and owners.It is possible the NBA could try to squeeze in the remainder of the regular season, there are as many as 18 games left for some teams – but they could opt for an expanded playoffs with a play-in for teams beyond the usual 16 spots.
The league is continuing to explore the viability of playing at a central location. Orlando and Las Vegas are considered front runners as they are places where multiple teams can be based. The Athletic reported on Wednesday Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando is gaining traction as a preferred site.