3:29pm: The Rockets have now postponed the target date for reopening their facility to May 18, according to Medina (via Twitter).
2:03pm: Although the NBA is still expected to allow teams to reopen practice facilities for individual voluntary workouts this Friday, only a small handful of clubs are expected to take advantage right away. The Rockets, Trail Blazers, and Nuggets intend to reopen their facilities on May 8, according to USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt and Mark Medina. The Cavaliers will do so as well, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.
Not all players have remained in their teams’ respective cities since the NBA suspended its season in March, so some Rockets, Blazers, Nuggets, and Cavs players may have to return from out of state before they can resume working out at their clubs’ facilities.
As Zillgitt and Medina detail, several other teams – including the Hawks, Heat, and Bucks – could reopen their facilities as early as next week. However, clubs like the Celtics, Mavericks, Grizzlies, and Timberwolves haven’t shared details on their plans, and many other teams will remain in limbo for the foreseeable future, deferring to local government ordinances and health experts.
The Warriors, for instance, are following the City of San Francisco’s lead, as Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. USA Today’s report suggests that Golden State is unlikely to reopen its facility until at least June, since the city’s stay-at-home order runs through May 31.
As for the teams that are opening this Friday, they’ll face strict regulations on the number of players who will be permitted into their facilities at a time (four), and how their workouts will be conducted (no group activities are allowed). The league recently issued a long, detailed memo outlining the safety measures that teams must put in place to reopen their buildings.
“This isn’t a hangout session for the guys,” a Cavaliers source told Fedor. “We’ve read the riot act – so to speak – to these guys. I think they are appreciative of us trying to find the right way to get the building open because they need the outlet and want to work out and this is the safest place for them to do it.”
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter links), the NBA informed teams this week of updated measures on cardiac screening for certain players prior to their voluntary workouts. Clubs have also still been told not to conduct COVID-19 tests on asymptomatic players, since the league is sensitive to an ongoing shortage in some areas of the country. If and when the NBA is able to open camps for a resumption for the 2019/20 season, there’s an understanding those testing protocols would change, Woj adds.