There is growing optimism regarding a potential return to the 2019-20 NBA season after it was suspended in early March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The league has made efforts to discuss potential scenarios for finishing out the season, such as finalizing a location and ushering in new safety protocols. There is also the matter of providing enough time for the players to get back into game shape with another training camp.
Some teams have been cleared to re-open their practice facilities under newfound restrictions in order to ensure player safety. It appears they are now waiting for the NBA front office to give the go-ahead for a full-scale return by June 1.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, teams are beginning to prepare to have all the players return to their respective cities by the next calendar month:
NBA teams are expecting the league office will issue guidelines around June 1 that will allow franchises to start recalling players who’ve left their markets as a first step toward a formal ramp-up for the season’s resumption, sources tell ESPN.
It is safe to say that this is quite a significant update regarding the looming return of basketball. Although many players have stayed close to team headquarters amid the ongoing pandemic, there are a handful of notable names that have returned home either out of the state, or even the country in Luka Doncic’s case.
The league will need to notify teams soon if they hope to meet the June 1 timetable. Of course, the NBA still has plenty of details they would like to sort out before giving the green light for a full-scale recall.
Reports indicate that the NBA and NBPA is still deciding on whether or not all 30 teams will be returning to action and what kind of playoff scenarios that will take place as a result of it. There is also the issue of picking a centralized location in either Orlando or Las Vegas while determining the kind of safety protocols that will be initiated in order to prevent a potential outbreak.
Meanwhile, commissioner Adam Silver has acknowledged the prospect of playing without fans in attendance and the significant loss of profit that will come with it. Regardless, they may very well still be able to salvage what many were ready to chalk up as a lost season.
For now, it is safe to say that bonafide playoff teams have already begun to take the initiative of preparing their players for a potential postseason run.