The league continues to work on various return-to-play scenarios, with two people aware of the situation saying on Wednesday that Orlando – which has been discussed for several weeks – along with Las Vegas and Houston remains in consideration. The people spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, because the league did not make any final decisions.
More than half of the league's teams have already opened facilities for voluntary player exercises, with Minnesota the next to do so on Thursday. Utah is among the teams that opened, but Conley he is still at his home in Ohio and has not yet returned to Salt Lake City for sessions at the Jazz facility.
"I'm working as if we're back" Conley said Wednesday. “Anyway, I would like to know a direction, just to know if we should keep stepping on the pedal or, you know, step back a little and rest easier if we are not playing until the following year and the following season. So, I think it will just be a wait and see game. I'll be ready, one way or the other. "
Also Wednesday, Los Angeles Lakers' Jared Dudley said he was "90% confident" that the NBA is coming back this season and that he believes players owe it to fans to try to end the year.
But Dudley also said the notion that the league resumes in a "bubble" was misplaced and that players will be allowed to leave the club. NBA wherever you are – knowing that you will be at risk by doing so.
"If you come back with the crown, you won't be able to touch," said Dudley. "So we will be tested all the time, and it would be smart for the teams … all the best players we have, we are going to bubble them up and not let them go anywhere. Let's be honest, they can't get out. And so, you would like it to be a team rule. ”
Wednesday marked the end of the 10th week since the NBA ended on March 11, a move that came when the jazz center Rudy Gobert was found to be positive for the coronavirus. The pandemic interrupted a season that still had 259 games, but none of them have been officially canceled yet.
Typically, the NBA would be in the playoffs conference finals section at this point. Players who were paid on May 15 saw 25% of these checks held before some games were canceled, and if no more regular season games are played, they could lose a total of $ 850 million in gross salary.
The league remains hopeful that some sort of decision about the resumption of the season could be made in the coming weeks. Commissioner Adam Silver detailed a two to four week window when he met members of the National Basketball Players Association electronically on May 8, and theoretically that window would end on June 5.
The next steps are likely to include additional league guidance on when teams can expand their voluntary exercises; at this time, no more than four players are allowed in a facility at any given time, and some have adopted even stricter policies on their own. From there, a plan for the training camps would likely follow, and when those camps – which will almost certainly be preceded by a quarantine period – begin, the games could potentially follow as soon as three weeks later.
If all of this happens, the camps may begin in June and games may resume in July. There are still a number of issues to be resolved, such as all the details about the tests, which the league said would have to be part of any return to play scenario.
"We will be back as soon as we hear even more encouraging positive news from our league" Conley said. "From what I heard from COVID's point of view, I think things have improved. So, I think that makes it much easier for our … reservations about not wanting to leave the house."
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