The NBA’s plan to restart the 2019-20 season is in full swing as they have notified teams of when to report to their home markets and gear up for the move to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
International players quarantining abroad were asked to come back to the United States by June 15, while all other players needed to return by June 22. On Tuesday, the league officially began mandatory testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) that included a nasal and oral swab along with a blood draw.
Testing is scheduled for every other day leading up to the trip to Florida, with all 22 teams expected to arrive between July 7-9. From there, they will settle in, begin practices, and eventually play a few exhibition games to warm up for the rest of the regular season.
While teams are preparing for the move, certain players are still deciding on whether or not they will be joining in on the season’s return. The NBA recently set a June 24 deadline for players to tell their teams they will not be playing, but according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, it appears teams are looking at July 1 as the true date for a decision:
Wednesday is turning out to be a soft target date for players to opt-out of Orlando – unless they want to enter process to be placed on excused/protected list to keep salary. Teams are largely treating July 1 as deadline, which is when rosters of eligible players are due to NBA.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 23, 2020
The league is giving players the option to sit out amidst the global health crisis as well the growing movement for social justice reform, and now it seems as though some will be afforded extra time to make a decision. However, players who wish to be considered “Excuse Players” still need to notify their team and the NBPA by June 25.
Several players have already raised concerns about the restrictions and protocols that are being discussed for implementation in the bubble despite the league’s willingness to let them exit and reenter the site. However, if players leave without permission, they will be subject to several things like testing and quarantining.
The Los Angeles Lakers have a pair of players in Avery Bradley and Dwight Howard who were clear about their consideration in sitting out. Now the team is only waiting on Howard, as Bradley has elected to forgo playing when the season resumes.
In addition to taking on a significant role within the players’ coalition, Bradley is concerned about the health of his son who has a history of upper respiratory issues.
Davis Bertans and Trevor Ariza have also declared they will be sitting out, and more players are expected to follow suit in the coming days.
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