Thursday brought the official news that we’ve all been waiting to hear for close to three months: the NBA is officially committed to a plan to finish its 2019-2020 season.
Notice the wording there. It’s very premature to say the NBA is officially back since it is close to two months until the first official games get started on July 31st. Even the Mavericks’ official statement on the subject is careful to make anything seem certain.
— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) June 4, 2020
“Hopeful to have basketball back soon” and not “excited” or “eager” to have basketball back soon. There are plenty of fair needs for this caution because the whole reason why the season stopped in the first place, the COVID-19 pandemic, is far from behind us. Dallas County announced its highest single day total of new cases on Thursday with 285. Obviously the league will turn over every possible stone to keep players and staff safe while they’re not only resuming training camps in their own towns later this month and then when they travel to Orlando in July.
Sources: The NBA informed the Board of Governors of scheduled dates:
– Training camp: June 30, July 7 travel to Orlando
– 2019-20 season: July 31
– Free agency: Oct. 18
– 2020-21 targets: Nov. 10 training camp, Dec. 1 opening night (can remain fluid)
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 4, 2020
Another important date that might apply to the Mavericks as much as anyone is the date of June 15th for international players to return to their team’s market. Both Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis have not loudly declared to any official media source that they are in their respective home countries of Slovenia and Latvia, but they have not been shy about posting to social media that they are not here in the states, as they have no reason not to since the league allowed them to travel internationally after a certain point following the league shutdown in March. Nonetheless, they will be back in Dallas by June 15th and players will be given roughly a week to get themselves settled before all players report to team facilities on June 21st.
Players will reportedly start to be tested for the coronavirus on June 22nd and this seems to be an important date because it provides more than two weeks before teams will travel to Orlando on July 7th. While we’ve certainly learned more about the virus over the last few months, it would seem like that two week gap would be there so that any isolated positive tests would be able to quarantine for at least two weeks before heading with the team to Florida. With teams formally starting training camp on June 30th, a positive test or two could be treated like a normal injury that needs to be rested (just entirely away from the team facility) while teams are slowly ramping up at the beginning of camp.
Like I said in a piece yesterday, this isn’t all fool proof, but the NBA is certainly taking precautions with having this agreement in place now but not getting games going for close to two months. Hopefully this all comes to fruition and we’ll get to have the Mavericks officially end their playoff drought and make some noise in the tournament at the Wide World of Sports in Mickey Mouse’s backyard later this summer.
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