The NBA is close to reaching an agreement with the National Basketball Players Association on restarting the season, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said this morning on SportsCenter (video link). Despite concerns over COVID-19 rates in Florida, the bubble environment, injury risks and other issues, Windhorst called the plan “too big to fail” and said the “overwhelming majority” of players want to start playing again.
“They all admit there’s concerns. But they all admit this is the best they can do,” he said. “And they’re steeling themselves for the wave of potential positive tests back that are going to come in the next few days explaining it that we want to find out who’s sick so we can get them healthy so we can establish the bubble. Again, that is a rhetoric that may look silly in a few days or it may be reality, but we are headed towards at least a restart of training camp with agreement from the union very soon.”
Windhorst added that a deal with the NBPA could be announced “in the next 48 hours” and definitely by the end of the week.
There’s more as the restart draws closer:
- The NBA will allow teams to have 10 coaches in their facilities beginning Tuesday, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Four players at a time will be permitted from June 23-30, then eight from July 1-9. Full training camps will begin once teams arrive in Orlando (Twitter link).
- Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tells Steve Serby of The New York Post that players will be safer in the bubble environment of Orlando than they would be in their respective cities. It’s part of a wide-ranging interview that also touches on Black Lives Matter, the challenges of playing in an empty arena, Dallas’ chances to make a playoff run, and the danger of injuries after a long layoff. “The four-month break since March 11 till the start of camp isn’t all that different than the end of the regular season to summer league or the midpoint of the playoffs to the start of training camp,” Cuban said. “So I don’t expect any difference on the injury front than a traditional start of season. Plus our training and medical staffs are going to be hyper-vigilant for obvious reasons. So I think we will all err on the side of caution when it comes to player health.”
- Ethan Strauss of The Athletic picks the Thunder, Nuggets, Raptors and Rockets as the best long-shot bets to win the NBA title.