It has been seven weeks since the 2019-20 NBA regular season went on hiatus due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Commissioner Adam Silver has said the league won’t make a decision on how to proceed until later this month, but remains steadfast in his position that science will dictate when play will resume.
The Athletic’s NBA insider Shams Charania was part of a roundtable of experts with MLB insider Ken Rosenthal and NHL inside Pierre LeBrun.
The trio discussed how the three professional leagues could resume with game action and Charania says the top two locations the NBA is considering are: Disney World in Orlando and Las Vegas. The league would allow each team to have 30-40 essential employees and the close family members of each player to be in whichever city they decide is best.
“How would that look? I’m told preliminary plans have consisted around a two-week quarantine period in which everyone there is tested; once those two weeks end, retest and allow the players who remain as negative tests to start a 14-day training camp. It will require the necessary amount of tests — rapid ones, at that — and agreements with the league and its players association. A White House official told me that the government will help the NBA and any league that is looking to return to play.”
Charania adds that the league is determined to finish out the 2019-20 season and crown an NBA champion. There are still plenty of moving parts to consider, including if teams will play out the remainder of their regular season games or if the league will proceed with a play-in tournament to determine the No. 8 seed in each conference. Charania adds the NBA is willing to start the 2020-21 season on Christmas Day.
The Warriors are not in a position to challenge for a playoff spot, so the only factor to consider for their standpoint is draft positioning. Golden State is all but assured of a top-five pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, so playing out the final 17 games won’t change much.
I don’t think it is worth it for Steph Curry and Draymond Green to suit up and risk injury, especially with nothing to play for. The Dubs have the assets to become a championship contender again next season, so I don’t see general manager Bob Myers and head coach Steve Kerr risking the health of their big guns to play meaningless games.