The NBA’s current projection has games resuming in late July or early August, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).
The league is working on multi-phase protocols involving medical and safety concerns, Charania adds. Teams are expected to hold training camps in their home cities in July, followed by camps and scrimmages in Orlando.
It’s the latest bit of encouraging news as the league tries to salvage its season following a hiatus that is now up to 11 weeks. Decisions still have to be made on how many teams will be involved and how the playoffs will be handled.
More information is likely to be forthcoming in a remote meeting Friday involving commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA’s Board of Governors. However, we learned this morning that a final plan isn’t expected at that session.
A limited number of family members would be permitted to join players in the bubble environment in Orlando under a plan being negotiated by the league and the National Basketball Players Association, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne.
Issues include when family members can arrive at the Walt Disney Resort, which will probably happen once the first group of teams is eliminated and fewer people are being housed in the bubble, sources tell the authors. Family members will be required to undergo the same safety and testing protocols as players and other team personnel.
Talks are continuing on a playoff format, but teams are becoming “skeptical” that the entire league will be part of a resumption, the story adds. One playoffs-plus idea would involve 20 to 24 teams with more from the West than from the East, sources tell Wojnarowski and Shelburne. Play-in possibilities are also being considered involving the Pelicans, Trail Blazers, Spurs and Kings, who are all within striking distance of the eighth seed in the West.