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Wednesday Quickies: Return of the NBA Edition

The NBA could wait until September to return

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NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Chicago Bulls Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

As the sports industry tries to figure out how to safely bring back live sports, it seems like the NBA may be willing to wait until September to finish the 2019-2020 season.

That news came from the Orlando Magic CEO, Alex Martins, who was quoted in the Orlando Sentinel saying the NBA could wait until Labor Day.

“Our league has decided that we’re going to try to get in as much of our season and playoffs as the data will allow us to,” Martins told the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force’s Guidelines for Business Reopening Working Group Tuesday morning. “We’ll play as late as Labor Day if we have to and even delay, as was reported this past week, we’ve been having initial discussions about even delaying the start of next season based on trying to get as much as this season in as possible.”

This would make some notable changes to the NBA calendar, as the NBA Draft can’t take place until after the season is finished. The NBA Draft Lottery and the NBA Combine were slated to take place this month, but both have been postponed indefinitely.

With a change like that, the NBA is reportedly looking at starting the 2020-2021 NBA season on Christmas Day.

Shams Charania from The Athletic said the NBA is looking at using Las Vegas and Walt Disney World in Orlando as sites to finish out the NBA season, which would be really interesting.

The top two locations for a return to play, 30-40 essential people per team and players’ close family members: Disney World in Orlando and Las Vegas.

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.

September is a long way off, but hopefully the NBA can conclude the season in some fashion. With so much changing in regard to COVID-19 each day, the plans will certainly change for the NBA.

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