SALT LAKE CITY — NBA teams are gearing up to take the first real steps toward resuming the season, according to a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe.
Teams are expecting the league to issue guidelines around June 1 that would allow franchises to recall players who have left team markets during the season suspension, and allow them to expand workouts, which are currently on an individual and voluntary basis, to include group activities.
According to ESPN’s report, the NBA is putting together a plan to resume the 2019-20 season that would include a two-week quarantine after the recall of all players into team markets, one to two weeks of individual workouts, and a two- or three-week training camp-like period prior to games resuming.
Many within the NBA believe that word from the league office is imminent and that games will begin sometime before the end of July.
It appears as though Orlando’s Walt Disney World Resort is the frontrunner to become the sole host of the remaining NBA regular-season games and the playoffs according to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amick.
While the Utah Jazz still have many players who have remained in the Salt Lake City area, there are some who have traveled out of market, including Donovan Mitchell, Jordan Clarkson and Mike Conley.
On a Zoom call Wednesday with reporters, Conley, who is currently at his home in Ohio, said that if the NBA finds a reasonable and safe way to proceed, he is ready to come back to Utah and get things going.
“Now that states are starting to open up, or at least slowly start to get there, it’s a lot easier for all of us who might not be in-state, in Utah, to think about the day when we come back,” he said. “If it’s on the horizon I can be there next week, or tomorrow, or whatever the day may be that I need to be back. ... We’re going to be back as soon as we hear even more encouraging positive news from our league.”
That encouraging news could be coming as soon as June 1.
There are still many within the NBA that have concerns about risk factors involving the coronavirus despite precautionary measures the league take.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr., who has Crohn’s disease, recently said there are some players who might not want to return to play even if the NBA resumes the season.
“I would hope there would be an understanding (from the league) if someone didn’t feel comfortable coming back that’d you get a pass,” Nance told ESPN.
Jazz forward Joe Ingles has seemed a little skeptical recently when it comes to the idea of possibly leaving his family for an extended period of time or risking exposure to COVID-19. With a baby on the way and a young son who is immunocompromised, he had not been to the Jazz practice facility in the first week that it reopened in an effort to limit exposure for himself and his family.
Conley, who is also expecting a baby, said he has stayed mostly at home, save a couple of grocery store runs, while he has been in Ohio, and made it clear that he would have to feel comfortable with the safety measures the NBA implements before returning.
“If there’s any high risk involved I don’t want to risk that,” Conley said. “But, I’m prepared. I’ve been working as if we are coming back.”