Possible NBA return timeline: Training camps start June 21, games July 15
As it gets closer to the early June date when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is expected to make a call on the NBA’s restart plans, the buzz around the league has settled on a rough timeline:
Players report back to team markets in early June and do individual workouts, then somewhere in the final week to 10 days of June formal training camps would start at team facilities. Finally, by mid-July, teams would travel to the bubble city or cities (likely Orlando, and maybe still Las Vegas as a secondary spot) and a handful of regular season games would tip-off getting teams to 70 games total (or, maybe, a couple more). After that, the playoffs would begin, with seven-game series for each round.
Thursday multiple people confirmed this timeline, with the Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie giving specific dates of June 21 for training camps and July 15 for games.
Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry was a little vaguer but told Jabari Parker at CNBC the NBA could resume games in 6-to-8 weeks.
At this point June 21 and July 15 are not set in stone, but they serve as a useful marker for what the NBA is thinking.
It will take extensive testing of players, coaches, training staff, broadcast crews, and everyone in the “bubble” to make this work, but the NBA is negotiating those deals reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Sources: The NBA has informed its teams that it has engaged in discussions with several national coronavirus testing providers, which "will be a central component of any subsequent plan to restart the 2019-20 season."— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 21, 2020
NBA shoring up its testing protocols, informing teams that it is engaged in conversations with BioReference Laboratories, LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics and Vault Health/RUCDR Infinite Biologics at Rutgers, sources said. Teams asked to create account with each company. https://t.co/s2LoeBn5Mi— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 21, 2020
The return of the NBA, just like the reopening of other parts of American life, is a fluid situation. Everyone is being understandably cautious, and things could change.
However, everything seems to be settling on a timeline that will see NBA games back on your screens in the middle of July, with the rest of this season playing out and a champion being crowned. And you can be sure whichever team raises that banner is not about to put an asterisk on it.