The NBA's Board of Governors, who will meet virtually on Friday, feels optimistic that the 2019-20 season can be salvaged and finished, according to The Athletic's Sam Amick.
One owner "agreed wholeheartedly that league-wide confidence was growing that this season would be saved, as did a few other folks who have a quality read of the room," Amick reports.
The league has been suspended since March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. There are more than 2 million confirmed cases of the virus globally across at least 177 countries. The U.S. has over 630,000 reported cases and more than 28,000 deaths.
Amick reports that some NBA players would be in favor of playing at a neutral location with athletes, staff and some media members quarantined. Las Vegas would be the leading candidate to host the NBA's quarantine bubble.
The NBA drew criticism after several players and team staff members were able to be tested for the coronavirus in the wake of Gobert's positive test. According to Amick, the NBA would have to acquire tests and establish a protocol before the players took the court again. The U.S. already has scare testing supplies and limited access to screening for the public, which has hurt the country's ability to monitor the true range of the disease. Health and government officials would also need to sign off on the NBA's return to action.
One owner proposed a scenario to Amick where players would be given a month to get back in shape around June and then resume the season in July. This would possibly put the Finals on schedule for an October slate.
The NBA has been monitoring China's response to the coronavirus but the Chinese Basketball Association's return to play has been halted until July. Taiwan's Super Basketball League plans to go forward with its postseason during the pandemic because it only features five teams and is being contested in a small gym with no fans.