The NBA — led by commissioner Adam Silver — appears close to a formal return-to-play plan. Most of the big-picture items seem to be in place and it’s now just about collecting the final important details.
Once everything is figured out, a formal vote will take place with the Board of Governors to decide on a plan moving forward. Some of the final details that need to be discussed are which teams will be invited to play and in what format, exactly how often everyone will be tested for the virus, and the rules that will be enforced in terms of quarantining players.
These are far from small details, but with the major stuff out of the way, these become easier to deal with. Silver will meet via conference call with the Board of Governors on Friday, but they will not vote on any formal plan, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
On a call with the NBA GM's this afternoon, Adam Silver confirmed that Friday's meeting of the Board of Governors would not include a formal vote on a return-to-play plan, sources tell ESPN. Talks on a plan will continue into the weekend.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 28, 2020
With that, it seems that the earliest a decision could possibly be made is Monday. This falls into the two-to-four week timeline that Silver gave himself earlier in May for a decision to be made.
Obviously, any return-to-play plan will be complicated, as that’s what this situation demands. But it feels like the momentum has fully shifted to the 2019-20 regular season resuming, and there is minimal evidence to the contrary.
At this point, it’s looking like games will resume later than the NBA was hoping, with late July being the current target date. However, if they can finish things up by late September, they league will still have time for an NBA Draft, free agency and training camps before a rumored Christmas Day start for the 2020-21 campaign.
This pandemic has forced the NBA — and other sports leagues — to get creative in a way that has never been done before. While the MLB seems to be the farthest from a resolution, every other league has been able to figure something out.