The NBA season has been suspended since March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and discussions are ongoing about the potential resumption of the season.
Here's the latest...
June 16, 6:55 PM:
The NBPA sent a memo to all players on Tuesday with more guidelines for the league's July 30 restart in Orlando.
SNY Insider Ian Begley notes that all players "who wish to exercise their right" not to play in Orlando must notify their teams of their decision by June 24.
Shams Charania of The Athletic also outlined the memo, noting the timeline for how and when teams will begin to arrive in Orlando, with the Toronto Raptors being the only team to travel during "Phase 1" as they'll be traveling from another country.
The Athletic also notes that the Nets will be one of eight teams staying at the Grand Floridian hotel, based on seeding.
The Nets will take either a chartered flight or bus and will arrive in Orlando between July 7-9, as arrivals will be staggered.
June 11, 4:21 PM:
A couple of updates came out on Thursday regarding the details of the restarted season. One came from The Athletic's Shams Charania who stated teams still in the playoff are allowed 17 people on their rosters. It was previously believed that 15 players were going to be allowed.
Also, there's this interesting tidbit: Players "who have signed an NBA/G League deal this year or a previous year are expected to be available to sign." That means someone like J.R. Smith or Jamal Crawford, who currently don't have teams, can still sign at some point.
And finally, the NBA is looking to move their start date up... by one day. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the targeted start date is now July 30 instead of July 31.
June 11, 10:47 PM:
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, teams will be able to bring in substitute players in place of those who decide not to play the rest of the 2019-2020 season in Orlando.
The NBA is also planning on allowing replacements for players who test positive for coronavirus, or sustain injury.
There is a catch, though. Bringing in a substitute player means the original player will be ineligible to return for the rest of the year.
June 8, 9:37 PM:
As the NBA is set to return in late July, The Athletic's Shams Charania has revealed tentative dates for when the postseason will begin to take place.
The play-in tournament will kick things off to see who will become the last seeds in each conference on Aug. 16-17. Then, the following will play out like this:
- Aug. 18: First Round
- Sept. 1: Second Round
- Sept. 15: Conference Finals
- Sept. 30: NBA Finals Game 1
The NBPA approved the league's 22-team restart plan that will take place in Orlando. Commissioner Adam Silver is shooting for a July 31 restart date.
June 5, 7:36 PM:
On Friday, the NBPA approved the league's 22-team restart plan, with all games taking place in Orlando.
Shams Charania of The Athletic outlined some of the items discussed on the players' call with the league, noting that there are still many issues left to be sorted out.
Friday's call included discussion on the following, per the report:
- There will be a maximum of 1600 people in the "bubble" environment. Players will likely be allowed to have up to three family members stay with them, but those family members won't arrive until after the first round of the playoffs.
- Coronavirus testing will take place every day, likely via mouth swabs and light nasal swabs. If a player tests positive, he will be quarantined for a minimum of seven days, though the league doesn't plan on stopping play again if a player tests positive.
- Crowd noise from the NBA 2K video games could be pumped into live games, though that's still to be decided.
May 29, 6:14 PM:
Sources tell ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Ramona Shelburne, and Zach Lowe that the NBA Board of Governors is expect to take vote on Thursday and approve Adam Silver's plans for a 20-22 team restart of the season in Orlando.
If this is indeed the scenario, then only teams with some realistic chance of a playoff spot would come back into action, meaning the Knicks (21-45) would likely not be included.
May 29, 3:09 PM:
On a call with the NBA Board of Governors, commissioner Adam Silver said the league is targeting a restart date of July 31, per The Athletic's Shams Charania.
Charania has also reported that the league is still debating a number of different scenarios for resuming the season, with different scenarios including different numbers of teams that would actually resume playing.
Jumping straight to the playoffs with the typical 16-team format is one option being discussed, and Tim Bontemps of ESPN is reporting that the majority of NBA teams are in favor of moving ahead straight to the playoffs, rather than playing any more regular season games.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski notes that while the league has not yet centered in on one plan, that will likely be coming soon, with Silver pitching a specific return plan to team governors "in the near future."
May 27, 3:23 PM:
With the NBA zeroed in on Walt Disney World as its single site for resuming play, the league is now taking further steps to officially restart the 2019-20 season.
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the NBA is working on "multi-phase medical/safety protocols," with hopes of resuming in-market training camps in July. Then, per Charania, after some camps and scrimmages in Disney, the goal would be for games to begin in late July or early August.
The NBA has been in talks with Disney World as the "bubble" site for play to resume, though no deal has been finalized.
Meanwhile, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne are reporting that the league is working on protocols that would allow a "limited" number of family members to join players in Disney's bubble environment.
The exact number of family members per player is not given in the report, but ESPN does note that family members will be subjected to the same health and safety protocols as the players, and that family members likely wouldn't enter the environment until an initial wave of teams is eliminated from play.
May 23, 1:03 PM:
The NBA issued a statement on Saturday announcing that the league "has entered into exploratory talks" with The Walt Disney Company to have the Orlando resort act as the single site for the rest of the NBA season, with games beginning in late July.
"The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing," NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass said. "Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place."
There's still plenty to be determined, including whether or not the league will schedule the remaining regular season games or just jump straight into some kind of playoff format.
But at the very least, this is a positive step towards NBA basketball resuming this summer.
May 22, 7:49 PM:
While some states have begun easing stay-at-home restrictions, thus allowing some NBA teams to reopen their practice facilities, some major markets -- such as New York -- have yet to experience similar lessening of restrictions.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that some franchises in restricted markets, such as New York, Boston, and Toronto, have been asking the league about potentially having their players report directly to the "bubble" (likely to include Walt Disney World in Orlando), rather than having to first report to their home practice facilities.
The thinking there, per ESPN, is that players wouldn't need to quarantine twice -- once when arriving back at their home city facility and then again at the bubble site.
According to ESPN, execs from the Knicks, Nets, Celtics, and Raptors were among those on a Thursday call with the league office, expressing concern about how waiting for a return timetable from the league complicates their own ramp-ups to return.
ESPN also notes that the exact format of the NBA's return is still yet to be determined, meaning it's not even entirely certain that all 30 teams will be back in action, or if the league will just go into an expanded playoff format, which could leave teams like the Knicks on the outside looking in.
May 22, 9:13 AM:
With progress being made toward the potential return of the season amid the coronavirus pandemic, here's how the schedule for the conclusion of the regular season, playoffs, NBA Finals, and 2020 NBA Draft could shake out...
One team briefed on a few potential timelines told SNY's Ian Begley that one potential schedule would have the regular season resuming in mid-July, the NBA Finals concluding in mid-to-late September, and the draft and beginning of free agency taking place shortly after the conclusion of the Finals.
The original schedule that was in place before the season was suspended due to the pandemic called for the NBA Finals to begin on June 4 and for the draft to take place on June 25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
May 21, 7:42 PM:
Now that Walt Disney World in Orlando has "gained significant traction" as a potential "bubble" to host the remainder of the NBA season, Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie has shed some light on when the regular season could potentially resume.
After designer John Geiger tweeted that the NBA would be back on June 21, Dinwiddie quoted that tweet, saying "That's just practice... I heard those last 5 games at bubble site start July 15th."
The NBA has yet to announce any formal plans for a restart, but it's looking more and more likely that all games for the remainder of the season could be played in one or two hubs, with Disney World appearing to be the most likely destination. And if Dinwiddie is correct, teams could be back on the practice floor in a month, and back in game action by mid-July.
May 20, 2:23 PM:
Walt Disney World in Orlando has "gained significant seriousness" as a potential destination for the NBA to resume play over other potential locations such as Las Vegas, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Additionally, Keith Smith of Yahoo! Sports reports that sources from Walt Disney World have told him that they are confident they will be "hosting the NBA in some fashion."
May 14, 3:08 PM:
A majority of players said that they were in favor of resuming the season, per SNY's Ian Begley, who noted that several players have said privately that they are not enthused about resuming play because of the health risk involved -- and that those players are said to be in the minority.
One veteran player said recently that he trusts NBA commissioner Adam Silver to provide as safe an environment as possible if they resume play.
"I'm confident in Adam," the player said.
May 12, 4:05 PM:
The Knicks were 21-45 when the NBA season was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic, 9.5 games behind the Orlando Magic for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. But if the regular season resumes, they could automatically be in a play-in playoff tournament that includes the top 12 teams from each conference.
A source confirmed to SNY's Ian Begley that a play-in plan is under consideration, but cautioned that there are many hurdles to get past with that plan -- including the potential impact it would have on the order for the NBA Draft Lottery.
The source added that "everything remains on the table."