Report: NBA Projected to Return in Late July or Early August
The fate of NBA basketball has been in jeopardy since March 11, when the season was indefinitely suspended after Utah Jazz big Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, the league has been cautious in its approach to resuming play — practice facilities have only just been allowed to re-open in the last few weeks, for example, and there are heavy restrictions on who is allowed in and how many players can practice together.
The league has done this in hopes of returning at some point this summer, and it seems as though we will be able to watch games again in the near future. There's been nothing official as far as an exact date goes, but a new report suggests that we still have a few months to go.
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the NBA is working on "multi-phase medical/safety protocols" with the goal of restarting play in Orlando, Florida in late July or early August. Charania added that in-market training camps would also begin in July, with training camps and scrimmages taking place in Orlando shortly thereafter.
It's a lengthy delay, for sure — by then, it'll be nearly five months since the last game was played — but the league appears to be taking as many precautions as it can to ensure its players and team personnel will be as safe as possible.
With that said, the NBA's plan isn't finalized, meaning there could still be changes made before an official announcement. On top of that, the league doesn't appear to have full support from its players at the moment.
Player health and safety is the main concern for all parties, and if the NBA is unable to satisfy their needs, it's hard to imagine them finishing the season. At the moment, though, momentum favors a return later this summer.