From the moment the NBA shut down in March the league has been working tirelessly at figuring out how to best return and finish out the season.
Obviously, the NBA won’t rush things and endanger any of its players, staff, or other employees, but once things have reached a point where it is safe to resume games, the league plans on being ready.
The ongoing question for the NBA, as well as most other sports leagues across the world, is when that time will come.
Leagues can plan as much as they want, but if the virus remains prevalent it will be impossible to do so. But the league continues to make plans for a potential return and they have a timeframe in mind.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the league has hopes of beginning the return process in June with a resume in play starting in July:
Owners, executives, players and agents are hopeful the return process begins in mid-to-late June, resuming play in July and finishing in September.
Any return for the league will be contingent on a number of factors that will help to ensure the safety of its players, staff, and all employees. Testing will be the most important piece of that, specifically with quick returns on results, but the league has stressed the importance of not taking so many that the people of America won’t have access to them when needed.
The Los Angeles Lakers along with the NBA’s other California teams have been working with California Gov. Gavin Newsom on opening up practice facilities in the state sooner rather than later while many sites have been discussed as far as hosting the reopened NBA in an effort to limit contact and prevent any further spreading of the virus.
This would also have a major effect on the start of next season as well. The league has already postponed the Draft Lottery and Draft itself, and a September finish to this season would undoubtedly push back the start of next year with reports of a possible Christmas Day start to the 2020-21 season floating around.
It would also severely shorten the offseason, especially for teams who go deep into the playoffs. Regardless of when things ultimately are able to return, the NBA and its teams and players are doing everything possible to be ready.