Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie told his Twitter followers that he heard the NBA will resume play on July 15, adding credibility to rumors that the league is looking to get back to play around that date.
Several media outlets have reported that the NBA is looking to start training camps in mid-June, allowing players time to get back into shape before starting play sometime in July.
Buzz Building for July 15 NBA Return
Dinwiddie quote-tweeted John Geiger, who said the NBA would be back on June 21.
That’s just practice… I heard those last 5 games at bubble site start July 15th. https://t.co/EsF3omehYQ
— Spencer Dinwiddie (@SDinwiddie_25) May 21, 2020
“That’s just practice,” Dinwiddie replied. “I heard those last five games at bubble site start July 15th.”
Marc Stein of The New York Times then quoted Dinwiddie’s tweet to say that he had heard similar talk.
Many around the league have been buzzing about the same rough timeframe described in this tweet … practices that would launch one month from now … with an NBA season resumption date in the July 15 range … https://t.co/iHFoPniNGI
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 21, 2020
“Many around the league have been buzzing about the same rough timeframe described in this tweet,” Stein wrote. “Practices that would launch one month from now … with an NBA season resumption date in the July 15 range.”
Dinwiddie referenced a bubble site, something that appears to be a key component of the NBA restart plan. The Atlantic reported Wednesday that Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando is now the frontrunner to become the site for NBA games when the season resumes. According to that report, the NBA has engaged in “serious discussions” with Disney, and prefers it to alternative sites like Las Vegas.
The Atlantic report also cited multiple sources who said that starting play by mid-July was the most plausible scenario for the NBA.
NBA shoring up its testing protocols, informing teams that it is engaged in conversations with BioReference Laboratories, LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics and Vault Health/RUCDR Infinite Biologics at Rutgers, sources said. Teams asked to create account with each company. https://t.co/s2LoeBn5Mi
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 21, 2020
Shams Charania tweeted a report that the NBA has informed teams that it is in discussions with national COVID-19 testing providers, and that testing would be central to any restart plan.
Teams Expect More Information by Early June
While the NBA hasn’t officially finalized any plans, details may be coming in the next two weeks. ESPN reported Wednesday that NBA teams expect to get guidelines from the league office around June 1, with sources saying that the guidance will include information on how to recall players and when teams can expand basketball workouts.
ESPN also cited sources as saying that the NBA is still considering a two-site bubble plan rather than having all games played in Orlando.
The NBA shut down its season on March 11 after Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. That led the NHL and other major American sports organizations to quickly follow suit, with virtually all sports worldwide suspending play in the days that followed.
When the NBA stopped play, the Milwaukee Bucks held the league’s best record at 53-12. Most teams had about 17 or 18 games remaining in their regular-season schedules at the time. It remains unclear how many – if any – regular-season games may be played in a restarted season before the league moves to the playoffs.
The Bucks (+240) stand as the favorite to win the NBA Championship, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. They could face stiff competition from the two Los Angeles teams, as both the Lakers (+270) and the Clippers (+340) are strong contenders for the title.