Nuccio DiNuzzo / Associated Press
That The NBA the lottery draft and the NBA Scouting Combine are scheduled for later this month, however Marc Stein from New York time reported that both events were expected to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The calendar has shifted to 1 May and a month is expected to push the NBA into some decisive decision making about various aspects of the 2019-20 season is upon us … after Adam Silver insisted in April ‘listening mode.’
“Possibly among the first problems to be faced: the NBA must make an official decision regarding the May 19 lottery draft and the May 21-24 draft in Chicago. It is hoped that both events will be officially postponed soon.
“As long as expectations continue for the resumption of the NBA season – and the league, as discussed earlier, intends to give the current season every chance to be recovered in a certain way – the team understands that this month’s lottery (and potentially June 25) concept) must wait.“
The NBA season was terminated on Wednesday, March 11, after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. There is no schedule for a league return.
However, there is still strong optimism to return to play at some point this year.
“Throughout the league, the majority of high-level officials remain encouraged and are optimistic that basketball will return this season,” ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski write Thursday.
Wojnarowski also reported the following thoughts from various league bosses:
“Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who has talked about the possibility of a resumption of games several times during the NBA absence, was among front office executives to tackle potential returns Thursday, telling CNN that he was “cautiously optimistic that we will be able to finish this season, but he hope the fans are not present for the match. Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry and San Antonio Spurs CEO of R.C. Buford also expressed his hope that the NBA will return to a certain point. “
If the league returns, it can finally finish the season at Walt Disney World outside of Orlando, Florida, per Charania shams Stadium and Athletics.
Kevin O’Connor from The Ringer explains why it works:
“Disney World makes perfect sense for the NBA if the game finally continues. There are several courts that are equipped to handle live broadcasts and more than enough hotels. The fact that Disney is a private property makes ‘bubbles’ less difficult to manage than a city like Las Vegas.“
The league cannot simply return to playing right away, due to several factors involved. Namely, players must increase their training activities to be ready to take part in the conclusions of the season. ESPN Brian Windhorst reports that the league is looking for a 25 day window to do that.
Another factor is whether the American public, namely health workers, has access to widespread COVID-19 testing.
Per Wojnarowski, Silver insisted that the league cannot return to play unless it happens.
Sources told Wojnarowski that it was believed the NBA needed around 15,000 tests to complete the season safely. The NBA can conduct the test itself through various manufacturers.
Another sign of optimism is that the league is willing to push back the 2020-21 season to early December, per Wojnarowski, giving the 2019-20 campaign more time to complete.
In the end, the lottery and NBA Scouting Combine are unlikely to last until summer. It is also conceivable that the lottery was held virtually and the merger did not occur at all.
Until then, the NBA was in a holding pattern because it seemed to continue playing in a safe manner.
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