Is this really about to happen!? Are we actually talking about good news? Gosh, I needed this.
Check. It. Out.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 20, 2020
The full write-up can be found right here, though this is the sweetest part:
The NBA is discussing a step-by-step plan for a resumption of the 2019-20 season that includes an initial two-week recall of players into team marketplaces for a period of quarantine, one to two weeks of individual workouts at team facilities and a two- to three-week formal training camp, sources told ESPN.
Barring an unforeseen turn of events, many NBA owners, executives and National Basketball Players Association elders believe commissioner Adam Silver will greenlight the return to play in June — with games expected to resume sometime before the end of July, sources said.
That is PLEASANTLY specific.
To date, this is the most definitive, positive, and specific timeline of a potential return we’ve heard. And while I don’t think we can ever be too confident in this environment, this is the closest a resumption of play has ever felt.
• Two-week recall of players
• One-two weeks of workouts
• Two-three week formal training camp
• … Game time.
Works for me!
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this news comes on the same day The Athletic reports Orlando’s Walt Disney World is on the cusp of becoming the NBA’s host site. With that said, Woj reports that “the NBA is still considering a two-site format for the return of the season, including Orlando’s Walt Disney World and Las Vegas….”
As you may recall, Las Vegas and, most recently, Houston have been in consideration for a league-wide “bubble,” but Disney World’s massive private property may offer the most advantages. At this point, I don’t care if they play in high school gyms. Just get some basketball back in front of my eyeballs safely, and I’ll be happy.
For what it’s worth, The Athletic also offered up a similar timetable, as Shams Charania and Sam Amick report that the most “popular and possible scenario” is for players to fully train in June before beginning gameplay somewhere in mid-July.
Love it. Yes. Yes. Yes. All of it.
A question worth asking is still whether or not any of this news will matter for the Bulls. Where things are expected to start back up is a mystery, so it’s unclear whether teams out of the playoff picture will be asked to take the court again this season. Nonetheless, the Bulls likely want to get back in their facilities, and it seems like that could finally happen at the end of this month.
As K.C. Johnson notes, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order is supposed to shift into a Phase 3 on May 29th, which would necessarily imply some solid progress has been made in Chicago’s fight against the virus. With that in mind, it’s possible the city allows for the Advocate Center to open back up, especially if the team is said to follow the strict guidelines the NBA puts in place.
With Cook County and Chicago on track to move into Phase 3 of Pritzker’s re-opening plan on May 29, on-court workouts in compliance with league safety measures could occur soon.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) May 20, 2020
Commissioner Adam Silver said on May 13th he wanted to decide the fate of the season within the next 2-4 weeks, and it sure seems like he’s working toward the earlier side of that estimate. As always, nowadays news can change within the hour, but this feels like the most positive day for the NBA since the March 11th shutdown.