The NBA has now entered exploratory conversations with the Walt Disney Company about restarting the remainder of the season.
The location in discussion is Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida, and the restart is set for late July according to NBA spokesperson Mike Bass on Saturday.
“The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing,” Bass said.
“Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place.”
The NBA has been suspended indefinitely since March 11 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is still unclear whether or not the NBA season will resume where the season left off or proceed straight into the playoffs.
The 220-acre ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, with its three arenas and large hotel accommodations, would allow the league to restart play while limiting exposure to the outside world.
The NBA has a board of governors call set for next Friday as reported by ESPN’s Adrien Wojnarowski this past Friday.
The call is expected to provide additional details for teams on a timetable and plan for the resumption of the season.
As of right now, teams will be instructed to recall players to their respective markets around June 1.
The league is discussing a step-by-step plan that includes an initial two-week recall of players into team marketplaces for a period of quarantine, one to two weeks of individual workouts at team facilities, and a two-to-three week formal training camp, according to Wojnarowski.
Baring an increase in COVID-19 cases or a change in current safety protocol NBA’s owners, executives, and NBPA elders believe Commissioner Adam Silver will approve and proceed with a return to play in June, with games expected to resume sometime before the end of July.