SALT LAKE CITY — Monday marked a big day as the Utah Jazz and other NBA teams reassembled in their home markets in preparation to resume the 2019-20 season in Orlando.
According to the return-to-play manual that was distributed throughout the NBA last week, players who had left their respective team markets during the season hiatus were to return by June 22, the end of phase one in a series of six.
As of Monday, all Jazz players, with the exception of Bojan Bogdanovic who is recovering from May wrist surgery, are back in Utah, according to a team source.
The Toronto Raptors are the only team that had a bit of a different timeline, as they traveled to Florida on Monday. With travel and quarantine restrictions in place between the U.S. and Canada, the Raptors will go through the remaining phases of the NBA’s return plan while in Florida.
The Raptors' plane has left the gate in Toronto. It is en route to Fort Myers.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) June 22, 2020
For the first time in 3-1/2 months, an NBA team is headed ... somewhere.
Phase Two of the NBA’s return plan, as outlined in the manual distributed by the players union, begins on Tuesday, which is also the first day of the NBA’s transaction window in which teams can sign and waive players before heading to Orlando in July.
During the second phase, which runs through June 30, players and staff of all teams will be tested for COVID-19 and will stay at home except for essential activities and voluntary individual workouts at team practice facilities.
Players who wish to opt out of joining their team in Florida must do so by Wednesday, June 24. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans and Portland Trail Blazers forward Trevor Ariza have both opted not to play in the NBA’s restart in Orlando.
Bertans, who has previously had two ACL injuries and is heading into unrestricted free agency, is choosing to sit out as a precautionary measure. Ariza, who has been dealing with a custody case for his 12-year-old son, has chosen to sit out the season restart in order to take advantage of a one-month visitation period with him, according to Wojnarowski.
On July 1, phase three of the plan begins, which will allow head coaches to observe workouts for the first time since the NBA suspended the season on March 11. Individual player workouts will be mandatory through this phase, but group activities will continue to be prohibited until the players arrive in Florida and go through another round of coronavirus testing and quarantine.
During the transaction window that opens on Tuesday, the Utah Jazz, as the roster stands now, would not be able to sign additional players. The Jazz, who will be traveling to Orlando with two-way players Jarrell Brantley and Justin Wright-Foreman, will be able to use a two-way player as a substitute for Bogdanovic without having to convert the two-way deal to a standard NBA contract.
If the Jazz are interested in signing another player, they would have to waive a player currently on the 15-man roster in order to make room. If a Jazz player decides to sit out the season restart, the team would be able to sign a substitute player without waiving someone.