From Bleacher Report:
The NBA is reportedly set to allow some of its teams to open practice facilities to players beginning May 1.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the teams that will be allowed to open the facilities will be those located in cities and states that have eased their stay-at-home orders.
Wojnarowski added that the facilities will open for individual workouts on a voluntary basis. However, group workouts will still be prohibited. The NBA also reportedly plans to work with teams in markets more heavily impacted by the coronavirus to come up with different arrangements that will allow their players to work out.
The NBA suspended the 2019-20 regular season on March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The decision to suspend the season came after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.
The NBA has yet to announce its plans for when or if the 2019-20 season will resume. Since teams had played different numbers of regular-season games at the time of the suspension, the NBA would likely have to find a way to play the rest of the regular season or hold play-in games for the playoffs in the interest of fairness.
If the season resumes, it is possible that games could be played at neutral sites with no fans in attendance since large gatherings are still banned in many places in the United States.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported this month that the NBA and its teams proposed a 25-day program to get players prepared once clearance to resume the season is gained. It is unclear if opening the practice facilities will signal the start of that process.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said earlier this month that detailed discussions regarding the potential resumption of the season would not be held until May 1 at the earliest.
While some states are trending toward opening up more businesses and easing stay-at-home orders, some of the areas that have been hit hard by COVID-19 aren’t yet at that point.
States such as New York, California, Massachusetts and New Orleans have a high number of coronavirus cases and widespread community transmission, which means teams that reside in those states will likely have to have discussions with the NBA about how they can get their players prepared and not fall behind the competition in the event of the season starting back up.
If and when the 2019-20 season does resume, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks will reassume their role as the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference, while LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will be the top seed in the West.