Quick Links

When is the NBA coming back? Dates, times and rules for return-to-play

When is the NBA coming back? Dates, times and rules for return-to-play

The NBA is just three days away from progressing to Phase 2 of its restart plan and has now provided significant detail on restrictions and expectations for players and staff members in the coming months.

On Tuesday, the NBA released a set of health and safety guidelines as well as player information in a series of handbooks that outlined specific dates and requirements under each of the six phases. 

With players’ return date approaching, the league is progressing toward an effective and safe restart under the confines of a strict bubble setup. 

Phase 1: Voluntary Individual Workouts (June 12 - June 22)

Currently, teams can make their facilities available to players for voluntary workouts or treatment as long as they abide by league rules. The NBA and teams must inform players during this phase to return to their respective markets by June 22. Players and traveling staff must complete medical history questionnaires to determine if they are cleared to travel. Finally, players and essential staff must self-quarantine at home unless they are traveling to a team facility or essential activity.

Significant dates:

  • 6/12: Voluntary individual workouts begin
  • 6/15: Reporting of players located outside the United States
  • 6/22: Required reporting of all players

Phase 2: Required Return to Market and Coronavirus Testing (June 23 - June 30)

Under Phase 2, teams may continue to make their facilities available for voluntary workouts as all players must return to their markets. Teams must operate testing prior to beginning any team-organized training. Any player who tests positive must undergo screening prior to beginning team-organized activities. Finally, teams will conduct mandatory virtual education sessions for essential staff and players.

Significant dates:

  • 6/23: Required coronavirus testing begins

Phase 3: Required Individual Workouts (July 1 - July (9-11))

Players begin mandatory workouts under controlled conditions during Phase 3. Teams must continue to operate regular testing and temperature screenings for players and essential workers. They must also continue the virtual education sessions.

Significant dates:

  • 7/1: Required individual workouts begin


Phase 3a, Transitioning from Phase 3 to Phase 4: Travel to Orlando (July (7-9) - July (9-11))

Over these two days, participating teams will travel to Orlando, Florida. Teams are allowed to bring 35 basketball operation staff members, inclusive of all players, coaches, front-office executives and others. This must include a senior executive from the team’s basketball operations department, an athletic trainer, a strength and conditioning coach, an equipment manager and security. Teams must also bring a minimum of 13 players and a maximum of 17. 

Significant dates:

  • 7/7: Travel to Orlando begins
  • 7/9: Teams must arrive in Orlando by this date

Phase 4: Team Activities on the Campus (July (9-11) - July 21)

Upon arriving in Orlando, teams may begin group activities under controlled conditions. Players, team staff, league staff, referees and ESPN Arena staff must undergo testing and daily temperature and symptom screenings. 

Individuals may also interact with other players under certain conditions. For meals, a player may eat by themselves or with others residing at the same hotel but must remain six feet apart or eat outdoors. Players may also participate in limited social activities with others residing in the same hotel, however, masks are required at all times unless eating or engaging in basketball-related activities.

Significant dates:

  • 7/9: Team training begins

Phase 5: Inter-Squad Scrimmages on the Campus (July 22 - July 29)

Under Phase 5, team training camps continue and may start allowing inter-squad scrimmages under controlled conditions. Regular testing continues and social and eating restrictions remain.

Significant dates:

  • 7/22: Inter-squad scrimmaging begins

Restart Phase: July 30 onwards

Beginning July 30, the NBA will restart its season with seeding games. During this time and throughout the season, regular testing will continue. Players and team staff are expected not to leave the campus, and re-entry quarantine protocol will apply to those who leave. For teams that advance past the first round of the playoffs, they may reserve up to 17 additional rooms for players and may be permitted to bring up to two additional staff members.

Significant dates:

  • 7/30: Season restarts with seeding games
  • 8/14: Conclusion of seeding games, certain teams depart Orlando
  • 8/15-16: Play-in games (if necessary)
  • 8/17: Playoff begins
  • 8/30: Family and guests of remaining teams arrive in Orlando
  • 8/31-9/13: Conference semifinals
  • 9/15-9/28: Conference finals
  • 9/30-10/13: NBA Finals


Quick Links

Bradley Beal thinks Rui Hachimura will be a small forward long-term

Bradley Beal thinks Rui Hachimura will be a small forward long-term

Whether it actually matters is debatable, but what position Rui Hachimura best profiles for long-term has been a point of contention among fans and media members ever since he was drafted by the Wizards ninth overall last summer. He is what not long ago would be described as a 'tweener,' or somewhat of a cross between a small forward and a power forward.

Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal has put some thought into it and has now weighed in. He thinks Hachimura will be a small forward.

"Honestly, I think Rui is going to end up being a three. When his career is over with, he's going to end up playing the three," Beal explained during Sunday's Wizards-Nets broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.

"I don't know what that's going to look like next year or what we're going to jump to, but you can see spurts of it. You can see he can handle the ball, he's comfortable with handling the ball. Obviously, we can improve that and make that better. He shoots the three comfortably."

That last point could probably be picked apart a bit and it does hold some importance in the argument. If Hachimura is indeed going to be a small forward, he will need to add some perimeter skills to his game.

Three-point shooting would be included in there and so far there certainly seems to be room for improvement. This season, he is shooting just 27 percent from three on 1.7 attempts per game. 


In the three games the Wizards have played in Orlando, Hachimura is 0-for-1 from long range. He didn't attempt any threes at all in their first two games of the restart.

The reason why it is an interesting debate is Hachimura doesn't fit the traditional norms for either the three or four position. And that could be a good thing, as former teammate C.J. Miles pointed out in November. When you don't match up perfectly with opponents in any specific position, sometimes that means you are a mismatch for anyone who is guarding you.

Beal himself went on to rave about Hachimura's versatility.

"He's super athletic, so he can use his size to post up. So, the versatility is there. It's just a matter of what we want to mold him into," Beal said. "I think the sky's the limit. He has the ability, he has the work ethic, so I'm definitely excited to see."


Hachimura not having a true position could be an advantage. What the Wizards will need to determine, however, is how to complement his skillset with other players as they continue to build their roster. 

Whether Hachimura is a three, a four or even a small-ball five, the best way to maximize his strengths will be to fill in the gaps around him. Putting a rim protector alongside him, for instance, would allow him to roam and switch on defense. Having teammates who space the floor will create openings in the midrange, where he is very effective scoring the ball.

Those involve more important questions than what position Hachimura will ultimately be defined by. But it's still a fun debate to have and now even Beal has been drawn into it.

Stay connected to the Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.


Quick Links

Troy Brown Jr. closing game at PG is perfect example of value Wizards see in Disney restart

Troy Brown Jr. closing game at PG is perfect example of value Wizards see in Disney restart

The Wizards were the final team included in the NBA's restart in Orlando, FL and with that brought some potential pitfalls, some of which Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans certainly weighed for themselves before choosing not to go. There is also the potential they hurt their lottery odds or even get screwed by the league's adjusted lottery rules.

But the Wizards chose to look at the situation as glass half-full and not half-empty. They embraced the opportunity to play more basketball and viewed the final 11 games (three exhibition, eight real ones) as a unique circumstance for player development.

On Monday in their loss to the Pacers, we saw a perfect example of that. They played a certified perennial playoff team, one with an airtight defensive structure. And they were able to push them at the end while using a lineup completely full of young players.

The final lineup for the Wizards, from the 5:56 mark on, had Troy Brown Jr. at point guard, Jerome Robinson at the two, Isaac Bonga at the three, Rui Hachimura at the four and Thomas Bryant at center. All five players are 23 or younger and Bryant, now in his third NBA season, is the most experienced of the bunch.

Head coach Scott Brooks saw immense value in that stretch where he was able to put some of the Wizards' youngest players into unfamiliar roles.

"We have to see what we have in a lot of different positions. These are great minutes," he said. "That's why we're here. We're here to get better and we're here to improve."

Most notable was the backcourt. Though Bonga, Hachimura and Bryant have taken on more responsibility with Beal and Bertans out, they have played those positions in crunch time before.

For Brown and Robinson, it was a different look from what they are used to seeing. Robinson would normally be sitting in favor of Beal and Brown would not be playing point guard. Ish Smith or Shabazz Napier would instead be out there, depending on who had the hot hand.

Brown has played plenty of point guard in his life, and he holds a preference for the position. But he has only played it sparingly so far in his two NBA seasons, not enough to even register on his Basketball Reference position estimate breakdown.


On Monday, Brown got to let loose and be the floor general. He responded well with three points and three assists during the final six minutes. The Wizards were down 13 when he checked in and cut the lead to seven before Indiana closed them out.

"I enjoyed it," Brown said. "For me, it felt natural. Today, I had more turnovers than I would like. But I feel comfortable calling out the offense, bringing the ball up and just initiating the offense and getting us into a flow."

It wasn't much, but it may have been a preview of more to come. Brooks, in fact, suggested Brown could start at point guard in one of the team's remaining five games. 

"There might be another game where Troy maybe starts at the point, you never know. He has to be ready," Brooks said. "We have played him in that before. We did it during the season and I wouldn't be surprised if we did it sometime during the next five games."

Brooks wasn't asked about Brown potentially starting at point, he brought it up himself. If he does go that route, it would make plenty of sense.

The Wizards are using their time at Disney World to develop young players, which they have plenty of. But they don't have one in their usual point guard rotation. Brown can play the position, so if they fully commit to playing youngsters, he would be the guy.

The Wizards' final five opponents are tough ones: the Sixers, Pelicans, Thunder, Bucks and Celtics. Those teams feature some really good point guards like Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Eric Bledsoe, Jrue Holiday and Kemba Walker. 

But two match-ups stand out as arguably the best for Brown. With Ben Simmons now playing forward, he could try his hand against Shake Milton of the Sixers, whom the Wizards play on Wednesday.

Or, what would be really intriguing is when the Wizards play the Pelicans in their following game, on Friday. New Orleans has Lonzo Ball, who is about Brown's size and would be great barometer for him on both ends of the floor. 

Either way, if Brooks does indeed give Brown a game to start and play heavy minutes at point guard, the Wizards' time in Orlando will all of a sudden become a lot more interesting.

Stay connected to the Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.