This is a big week for the Trail Blazers and the other teams that are headed to Orlando for the league’s return to play. Things are starting to switch from "voluntary" to "mandatory."
The Blazers still aren’t holding actual team practices, as they prepare for their eight “seeding” games that begin at the end of this month. But they have been conducting individual workouts at their practice facility in Tualatin and have been undergoing mandatory COVID-19 testing since June 23. The individual workouts have been voluntary but will become mandatory Wednesday.
Still, no group workouts will be allowed and no more than eight players are to be in the team facility at the same time.
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Wednesday is also the day when final rosters must be submitted to the league, although players will still be allowed to “opt out” of the restart right up to the start of the playoffs. Wednesday is also the deadline for adding free agents to the roster.
Full practices will not be allowed until after the teams arrive in Orlando, and that arrival process is scheduled to run July 7-9, followed by two days of isolation and two virus tests.
Those camps in Orlando will not be run the same way as traditional NBA training camps. In the normal pre-season camps, teams have as many as 18 players available and that allows more scrimmaging and more players able to take part in drills.
The Trail Blazers will likely have 13-14 players on hand for their “camp.”
There are no two-a-day practices planned. It is also expected players will be monitored for heavy load and perhaps be allowed days off.
Word is, the Trail Blazers have reported to their practice facility for voluntary individual workouts in good physical condition, but probably not in NBA game shape -- although, with the team’s first game not scheduled until July 31, there is every reason to believe there is plenty of time for them to get into game shape.
There will also be as many as three exhibition games or scrimmages, beginning on July 22, held with other teams that will help in that regard.