With the second phase of the NBA’s return-to-play plan getting underway today, mandatory coronavirus testing will begin for players on teams who will be part of the Orlando restart this summer, and those clubs are bracing for a “significant” number of positive tests, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).
Full training camps won’t officially begin until July 11, after teams have reported to Orlando. Players who take part in group workouts at that time will have tested negative for COVID-19 at least twice upon arriving at Walt Disney World. During the two weeks before teams travel to Orlando, those clubs will look to identify and quarantine any players who have contracted the virus to ensure that they don’t bring it with them into the bubble.
According to Wojnarowski, one Western Conference playoff team had four positive coronavirus tests within the past few weeks. Meanwhile, Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic reports that two Suns players have tested positive, prompting the team to temporarily shut down voluntary workouts at its Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum practice facility.
While an increasing number of positive tests in the coming days will likely prompt questions about the NBA’s restart plan, the league remains hopeful that by the time teams are ready to travel to Orlando around July 7, any affected players will either be fully recovered or will remain quarantined as they recover.