NBA teams expect the league to issue formal guidelines around June 1 detailing the first steps of a ramp-up to the resumption of the 2019/20 season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe.
As ESPN’s duo explains, the first step of that ramp-up process would involve teams recalling players who left their respective markets during the hiatus. Clubs also believe they’ll be able to expand workouts for players already in their market around June 1, sources tell Wojnarowski and Lowe.
According to ESPN’s report, the NBA envisions a ramp-up process that would include an initial two-week period of recalling and possibly quarantining players. That would be followed by a week or two of individual workouts at team facilities, then a two- or three-week formal training camp. From there, teams would likely eventually travel to one or two centralized locations where the season would resume.
Earlier today, The Athletic reported that the most popular scenario discussed by the NBA would see players fully training by mid-June, with games resuming by mid-July. It sounds as if Wojnarowski and Lowe are hearing a similar timeline suggested — sources tell ESPN that many team owners, executives, and NBPA higher-ups believe commissioner Adam Silver will green-light a return to play in June, with games resuming before the end of July.
The NBA and NBPA still have to work out many details on a potential return, including whether or not regular season games will be played, whether all 30 teams will resume play, and what the playoffs will look like, sources tell ESPN.
Additionally, for some teams, recalling players to their market may not be as simple as having them travel across a state or two. Luka Doncic, for instance, returned to Europe during the hiatus. And the Raptors will have to deal with a U.S./Canada border that is closed to non-essential travel for at least another month. However, the league expects to receive assistance from the U.S. government for any teams and players requiring international travel, per Woj and Lowe.