With player health being a top priority for the NBA’s return-to-play plan, the league is still in the midst of laying out necessary safety protocols that will be in place for players and team personnel upon reporting to the Orlando bubble.
With a 22-team plan in place and dates set for the resumption of the season, possible play-in tournament, and NBA Playoffs schedule, the league and NBPA must still agree on other matters, such as testing for coronavirus (COVID-19).
In deciding on playing at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on the Walt Disney World campus in Orlando, Fla., the NBA is hopeful a bubble environment will reduce the risk involved. Players are permitted to utilize amenities available, though not the resort park.
And according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the NBA has reportedly prepared a safety protocol for anyone who may test positive or leave the bubble:
If a player tests positive, they will need to quarantine for at least 10 days and have two negative tests before rejoining their team. The same is true if a player leaves the league’s Disney World campus, which will be closed off to the public. If a player leaves and returns, they will need to quarantine for at least 10 days and test negative twice before rejoining.
The report is similar to the rumors surrounding the NBA’s plans for players that test positive for COVID-19 or an injury would be quarantined anywhere from seven to 14 days. This means that anyone planning to leave the bubble environment is effectively ruling themselves out for a solid portion of the remaining season.
Of course, there is no telling what could transpire for the players that have committed to quarantining themselves in order to finish out the season, especially those with championship aspirations that are expecting to be there until mid-October. Family emergencies or potential health issues could give them a valid reason to return home for a brief spell.
Teams will have the option to replace anyone that chooses leave or suffer any other health issues from a pool of players that is expected to only feature those that are signed with an NBA team or any of its affiliates. The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly among those that will be including their two-way players in Kostas Antetokounmpo and Devontae Cacok for the trip.