Chris Mannix: Several Jazz players participated in voluntary, individual workouts today at the teams practice facility, per team. Workouts were in accordance with Utah Department of Health and NBA regulations.
When the season was suspended on March 11 because of the first confirmed cases of COVID-19, the Pistons had 16 regular-season games remaining, with eight at Little Caesars Arena. That included marquee games against the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets. Whether those games will be played in front of fans is unlikely, but the Pistons are offering a credit to be used when that game is rescheduled, to a game next season or get a refund.
Mark Cuban believes the NBA can still salvage its 2019-20 season, despite it being suspended for two months and counting amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Dallas Mavericks owner pointed to Dec. 25 as the start date for next season and then said you just have to work backward for a potential timeline to resume this season. Most teams, Cuban said, would not be playing an extended schedule as there’s a limited number of teams that would advance through the playoffs.
“How much of an offseason do we need for the draft, workouts and guys to rest?” Cuban said during an interview on ESPN 103.3 FM on Monday. “Worst-case — we kind of squished the schedule and started late July, early August. That’s just me speculating. Go play a few warm-up games to finish out the season and finalize playoff positioning, then play the playoffs.”
Simply put, Cuban just wants the sport to return in some fashion. He believes the level of play will be just as good, if not better, than what NBA fans saw coming out of the 2011 lockout. “Anything we show is going to be better than what we have right now,” Cuban said. “It’ll be good enough, right? We just want our sports. We just want to root for the Mavs, the Cowboys, the Stars, the Rangers, etc. If it’s not perfect, I don’t think anybody is going to mind.”
During an interview Monday with ESPN 103.3 FM, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said members of the organization have recently discussed changes to operations and technologies in the AAC if fans can return in limited capacity before treatments and preventions for the coronavirus are created. The AAC norm might start with staggered fan arrival.
The Mavericks could request fans sign up for an arrival time at a specific parking spot, Cuban said, where they’ll then receive a predetermined path to walk to their gate. Upon passing through AAC security, a guide could lead fans to their seats, separated from other guests. “We may do that almost like Disneyland, do it like there’s a procession and you have people guiding you to your seat,” Cuban said. “Or the example I use is more like a haunted house where you wait in line and you go through the haunted house, but you’re not allowed to touch anything, and everybody just is guided to their seats at the right time. It may take a little bit longer for everybody to get into their seats to start the game, but we’ll accommodate that and go from there.”
To prevent the spread of the coronavirus via contaminated surfaces, Cuban highlighted potential artificial intelligence, such as a service tool similar to Amazon’s Alexa, to allow fans a way to verbally request needs, rather than moving around and touching items. “There’s just so many things that we’re trying to deal with. There’s a lot of natural [decontamination] and sterilization tools that we can use to keep the arena clean,” Cuban said. “There’s all these things that have to be considered, and we’re trying to put together a list now.”
The NBA has reached an agreement with the National Basketball Players Association to extend until September the 60-day window that preserves the league's right to terminate the collective bargaining agreement in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, sources told ESPN. Pushing back the deadline allows for the NBA and union to gather a clearer picture of the economic losses and bargain on a number of crucial financial issues.
The NBA had the ability to terminate the CBA under the force majeure event provision for the two months starting on the March 11, when the season was suspended. There's optimism that the NBA and union can work through these issues and agree on how the league's financial landscape will be recalibrated on a number of issues, including the 2020-21 salary cap and luxury tax thresholds, sources said.
This extension allows the league and union to continue trying to resume the 2019-20 season this summer, salvaging some regular-season games, carrying out the playoffs and recouping some lose revenue. Commissioner Adam Silver told the players on Friday that expenditures by fans -- through gate receipts, concessions and other game-night receipts -- constitute approximately 40 percent of the league's revenue, according to audio of tape obtained by ESPN.
The Knicks finally made it official that there will be no more games at the Garden for the 2019-20 season. The Knicks emailed their season-ticket holders Monday morning informing them they will get a full refund on the eight postponed regular-season games — or have option of rolling it over to next season with a gift for doing so.
The Post obtained a copy of the letter, stating if fans rolled it over, they’d receive a bonus of either a food and beverage credit, MSG Store credit or an RJ Barrett authentic jersey. “As a season-ticket member, we would like to offer you the option to receive a refund on the 2019-20 postponed game if you so choose,” the letter stated.
The NBA still hopes to play out as much of its remaining schedule as possible, but Commissioner Adam Silver is now signaling those games will be played in a centralized location without spectators, if they are played at all. The league could incur major financial losses as teams receive an increasing volume of calls from restless ticket holders who want their money back. A league source told The Sacramento Bee the coronavirus shutdown has already taken a huge financial toll on the Kings, who are bracing for what might be tens of millions of dollars in uninsured losses. The source said the stoppage in NBA play and live events at Golden 1 Center is having a “tremendous impact to the bottom line,” saying “over half of the team’s revenue is generated from hosting ticketed events in the arena.”
Team and league officials explain it is difficult to calculate the average price of an NBA ticket due to multiple factors, but some have attempted to do the math. Barry’s Ticket Service, Inc., an online ticket broker, estimated the average cost of a ticket on the secondary market was $89 during the 2018-19 NBA season. Using those figures, the NBA could lose more than $400 million in regular-season ticket sales. In March, a high-ranking team official told Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports the NBA could lose nearly $500 million if the remaining regular-season and playoff schedule is canceled. Just last week, Statista.com, an online portal for statistics, estimated the NBA could lose up to $450 million in gate revenue and $200 million in non-ticket revenue.
The New Orleans Pelicans are planning to reopen their practice facility in Metairie on May 18, a source confirmed. Earlier this week, the NBA began allowing teams to open their doors in municipalities where stay-at-home orders have been lifted. Louisiana’s stay-at-home order runs through Friday. The Pelicans plan to start allowing players in for individual workouts three days after it is lifted.
The Pelicans plan to rehearse the safety protocols they and the league have put in place Friday to curb the spread of coronavirus. They are paying strict attention to details as minute as how basketballs are wiped down and how doors are opened. The NBA has asked each team to appoint a facility hygiene officer. Aaron Nelson, the Pelicans' vice president of player care and performance, will fill that role in Metairie.
The Pelicans have told players who are living out of market they should feel no pressure to return to New Orleans when the practice facility reopens. They don't want players to risk contracting the virus traveling back to Louisiana for the sole purpose of participating in individual workouts.
The annual NBA draft combine, which was supposed to be held this month in Chicago, has been postponed. For the Spurs, it has created a dearth of data heading into what could be the team’s most consequential draft in 23 years. “There’s quite a bit that is (normally) going on at this time of the year,” Buford said. “We’re working through places where we need to fill gaps.”
For now, the Spurs have been relying on whatever scouting data and analysis they could compile before the sports world shut down in March. “We don’t have clarity on a lot of things that go along with draft preparation,” Buford said. “We still don’t have a solution around medicals and in-person activation at all. But it’s not just our industry — it’s the world.”
Ira Winderman: Miami-Dade clears opening of Arena for Heat workouts: "Effective as of 6:00 p.m. on May 8, 2020, Emergency Order 15-20 is amended so as not to preclude the use of facilities owned or leased by a professional sports franchise, solely by employees of such franchise . . . " (1/2)
The Lakers Review: “I don’t think there is a drop dead date. I think the folks I’ve talked to have said ‘we can go as long as we need.’ I mean, they can be playing until Labor Day.” - Ramona Shelburne on the latest with the NBA during her appearance on The Mason and Ireland Show on @ESPNLosAngeles Jared Dudley: I heard even Oct from Adam Silver today...
Specifically, Woj was talking about the fear of injuries in a shortened, fan-less season. “What about in a shortened season, and I know they’re thinking about this, You really want to hurt ratings next year? Let’s rush everybody back this season and let’s get key players injured and now have to hold them off, have their starts pushed back.”
When Ontario premier Doug Ford was asked Friday about how the testing of NHL players and related staff would be handled if Toronto became a hub for the six other Canadian teams should play resume, he had an answer ready: “From what I understand all tests would be supplied by MLSE, the costs will be absorbed by (Leafs and Raptors owners) MLSE or the NHL, whoever it might be,” said Ford. “And through that, whenever they set it up then they’ll actually donate some of the time at the testing area as well, so they are giving back to the public on top of testing their own players, which I thought was very thoughtful of them, for doing that.”
In Germany where the Bundesliga is poised to become one of the first major sports leagues to return to play, the league has promised to cover the cost of the additional testing they’ll need – an estimated 20,000 tests spread among 36 teams – as well as provide any surplus tests to front line health-care workers. “Along with the NBA, we are all following that and I think if they are a couple of weeks in front of us, it will be hopefully useful and directional for us to look at,” Raptors general manager Bobby Webster told reporters on a conference call when asked if the NBA is studying the German model. “Everyone is looking at that. “
Flying back to the team's home city presents an extra challenge. Foreign-born players such as the Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic, who flew home on a private jet to Slovenia after the NBA shutdown, according to sources, will have to fly back to the United States and then quarantine. Even players who flew out of state during the shutdown will have to make their way back and then quarantine.
Silver, according to sources with knowledge of the conference call, told players that he believed the safest ways to restart the league will be by holding games in one or two locations, likely Las Vegas and/or Orlando, Fla., with fans most likely not in attendance.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver, in a conference call with players Friday night, said he is willing to wait until June before deciding on a firm plan to resume the season while raising the likelihood of two fan-less sites for the playoffs. According to a source on the call, Silver was “forthcoming and genuine in expressing the difficultly to plan in light of the uncertainty.’’ However, the source added Silver “informed the league’s desire to resume the season, but only if absolutely safe for all.’’
Adrian Wojnarowski: Asked on NBPA call about how long a training camp could be should this season resume, Silver suggested "three weeks" as the minimum length that's been discussed within the league, sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Broader Adam Silver message on call to players: This is going to be hard -- and hard for a long time. We need to work together. Hard choices are coming. No one will agree on everything. There are some difficult days of collective bargaining coming with grim financial realities.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Among players on the call, there seemed to be an appreciation that Silver was trying to answer questions as candidly as he could -- especially given the uncertanties facing league and country with virus.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Silver told players that he believes each of his 30 owners wants to play again this season -- despite suggestion made to him on call of short-term financial advantages for some teams not to resume season. He called his owners, "Competitors."
Adrian Wojnarowski: Michele Roberts asked Silver on the call about financial impact moving foward for the league and players, and Silver flatly said that the collective bargaining agreement "wasn't built for an extended pandemic." Silver called it all: "The greatest challenge" of our lifetime.
Bobby Marks: From an economic standpoint. The NBA was projecting $8B in Basketball Related Income (BRI) for this season and $8.4B in 20-21. Those numbers were before the revenue decline from China and COVID-19.
Bobby Marks: The salary cap mechanics would see the system crash based on the steep decline in revenue. The league and PA will essentially be negotiating a new CBA (an amendment to the current one) when the time comes.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Silver explained to players why the league wouldn't allow teams to use private team jets to bring players worried about commericial travel back to market for voluntary workouts. He cited trying to manage the competitive advantage among teams as one of his reasons.
Adrian Wojnarowski: If the season were to resume and players wanted a safer way to get back into market, Silver did leave open the possibility that idea would be addressed again, sources said.
Chris Haynes: Yahoo Sources: Chris Paul expressed concern on behalf of players that some teams could be pressuring players to work out at the facility. Adam Silver reiterated that it’s optional and advised Paul to follow up with the league if it continues.
Adrian Wojnarowski: With fans in buildings constituting 40 percent of league revenue, the NBA is working on creative ways on TV to deliver the games to audiences, Silver told players. Silver started to prepare players for possibility of no fans in arenas next year without a vaccine, sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Silver told players that he still hoped that the playoffs would include a 7-game series in every round. He told players that those series could move faster without the need for travel, staying in a single site. Orlando and Vegas still tops.
Chris Haynes: Yahoo Sources: Adam Silver acknowledged there would be a “series of bad options” to decide on pertaining to teams on bubble of making playoffs. He couldn’t guarantee those teams would have a chance to earn a playoff berth if hiatus extends too far out.
Shams Charania: Sources: On the ever-elusive question -- What if a player tests positive upon return -- Adam Silver told players the NBA would hope for daily testing at that point and no stoppage of play, having the player(s) isolated in quarantine.
Shams Charania: Sources: Commissioner Adam Silver told NBA players on call Friday: - If season resumes, no fans expected - 40% of league revenue comes from fans - Season decision can go into June - Until coronavirus vaccine, there is risk; will be living with the virus for foreseeable future
Shams Charania: If/when it is able for NBA to return, Adam Silver told players it’s safer in 1-to-2 locations — such as Disney World Orlando/Las Vegas — than flying around to cities and facilities, sources said.
Chris Haynes: Yahoo Sources: On conference call with players, Adam Silver shared that Las Vegas and Orlando are options that could serve as locations for Western and Eastern conference play if season resumed. Says he’s received calls from many city officials to host season.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: On call with players today, Adam Silver told NBPA membership: 1) "It would be safer to be in a single location, or two locations, to start." 2) That the NBA doesn't have to make a decision on re-starting in season in May, nor does it have to decide right away in June.
The Thunder practice facility remained closed Friday, the first day some NBA teams were allowed to reopen their facilities to players for voluntary workouts. The Thunder will provide an update once it does open its practice facility, a team spokesman told The Oklahoman.
As the NBA nears the two-month mark of its shutdown — and some team practice facilities prepare to reopen — Popovich said the country’s sports associations did the right thing by suspending their seasons quickly. “I think everybody understands we’re in this for the long haul, and hopefully we won’t do anything that’s a knee-jerk sort of reaction, where we just jump back in because we’re instant gratification people,” he said.
In a call with season ticket holders, Brad Stevens says games without fans would be disappointing, but could provide a unique setting for some interesting basketball. “I guess playing without fans would be much more like a typical practice environment, and I think that the one thing about these guys is they don’t compete any less hard in practice,” Stevens said. “In fact, sometimes in those quiet gyms where you can hear everything somebody else is saying, it gets even more feisty. And so, I think that it would be great basketball if we’re able to do that.”
“We want to be as routine-oriented as we can, but it’s just not always feasible. And so, this particular situation, as COVID-19 shut down more and more businesses and shut down our league, became more real to all of us, then it affected everyone’s routine,” Stevens said. "It’s not an athlete thing, it’s not a coach thing, it’s an everyone thing. And so everybody is dealing with that, and I think that as an athlete, the different curveballs that come out of left field that you get used to hitting I think are good preparation for times that are going to challenge you like this.”
Eventually, everything will go back to normal. When that happens is anyone’s guess, but it will, and Stevens is looking forward to it. “I can’t tell you how excited we’ll be when we do get a chance to play and I can’t tell you how much more exponentially excited we’ll be when we get a chance to play at TD Garden in front of our fans,” Stevens said. “I think we’re all looking forward to that moment and the ability to feel free to do that and feel able to do that.”
Trying to restart the NBA season is simply not worth the risk as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the country, Shaquille O’Neal believes. If it was up to him, it would already be over. “We should scrap the season,” the Hall of Fame center told The Post in a phone interview. “Continue to care about the safety of the players and the people, let the government figure out how they’re going to get rid of this thing forever. I hate hearing this statement, oh it’s going to come back, it’s going to come back.”
Marc Stein: Cavs players submitted to temperature and symptom checks and each wrote their number on two basketballs in thick Sharpie ink so no one else uses them After roughly 90 minutes of weights and shooting, Nance said: "It was more for mental health than physical to be honest with you"
Marc Stein: Cleveland's Larry Nance Jr. (@Larry Nance Jr) to @NYTSports on returning to the team's practice facility today: "It was wonderful." Nance was in the Cavs' first group of the day alongside Kevin Love, Cedi Osman and Ante Zizic. "All of us actually shot it really well," Nance said.
Friday was the day the NBA targeted to allow teams in states with eased stay-at-home guidelines to reopen their facilities to players for individual workouts. But the Timberwolves' facility at Mayo Clinic Square remains closed in accordance with Gov. Tim Walz's stay-at-home order which is set to expire May 18. A Wolves spokesperson said the situation remains fluid.
The Pistons join the rest of the NBA in awaiting further instruction from state officials. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently extended Michigan’s stay-at-home order through May 28. Until then, at least, the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center will remain closed. Michigan is in phase three in its six-phase “Safe Start” plan to reopening the economy. Gatherings remain banned, and gyms are still categorized as non-essential.
Currently, there’s no guarantee from Whitmer that the state will ease restrictions on May 29. It also isn’t immediately clear how that phase will impact the Pistons. “There’s a set of guidelines, we’ll follow them to the T and we’ll be very cautious for both the player and the staff,” Pistons senior advisor Ed Stefanski told the Free Press. “But … it’ll be a slow process. We’re waiting for the state of Michigan to allow us. We’re not doing anything until then.”
There are significant decisions to be made in the future, but all the Pistons can do for now is sit tight. They’re continuing to prepare for the draft and free agency as though it’s the offseason. And if the regular season resumes, they’ll prepare for that as well. “We have players who are at home with their families,” Stefanski said. “ We’re not asking them to come back to Detroit. Once the self-quarantine stops and Michigan opens up more, if they want to come back they’re more than welcome. But we’re not asking them to come back and the league is not giving us any dates on when they’re going to resume play or anything like that. We’re all waiting. It’s a waiting game.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers reopened their practice facility to players for individual workouts on Friday, and at least four players showed up, sources tell cleveland.com. General manager Koby Altman and the team’s medical staff informed players on Wednesday that the workouts were voluntary and players should take some time to think about whether they wanted to be put on the schedule.
The feedback Altman received was positive. All players -- eight or nine -- who stayed in the market during the stoppage said they were eager to participate. “They were all pretty excited about it,” a source said. Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr., Cedi Osman and Ante Zizic were among those inside Cleveland Clinic Courts, sources said.
Athletes both nationwide and globally have had to be resourceful, finding creative ways to train at home. For Carl Albert alum Irv Rolan, who’s spent the last 15 years traveling and training NBA players, he’s no exception. “I’m just like everybody else, messed up," he said.
“It’s funny because most think the NBA players, they make millions of dollars so they automatically assume all these players have these fabulous indoor courts," Roland said. "I really only know maybe two guys in the whole NBA that I know of that have their own gym at home. So, everybody's pretty much in the same situation, just doing a bunch of dribbling drills out there.”
As creative as they’re getting to stay ready, Roland says the return to the season would be comparable to preseason. "I know the majority of the NBA has not shot a basketball since their last game over a month ago," he said. "I saw a video of Serge Ibaka running laps down his hallway, which is only so long, you know, he's going from the bathroom to the bedroom just running laps. So to ask these guys to go from that to 'boom', let's try to revamp the season, it's going to be really tough. You think about how sloppy the preseason can be sometimes with basketball and now we’re asking guys to go from not really working out, not touching a basketball and starting the regular season and the playoffs. So, it’s a really difficult time, guys are in a really tough space.”
The temporary move to California has allowed the family to find warmer weather, while also providing Dellavedova with a better environment to stay prepared for the eventual return of basketball. "We were living in an apartment in downtown Cleveland and I didn't have access to a hoop. I tried to see if they could get an outdoor one put at the [Cavaliers] facility, but I think that was against the league rules at the time, so we made our way to California."
The Charlotte Hornets have no immediate plans to open their training facility, as the NBA begins allowing players to return to practice gyms and weight rooms. “At this time, our practice facility and our offices will remain closed as we continue to monitor the current situation,” the Hornets said in a prepared statement Friday. “Moving forward, we will continue to evaluate this on a week-by-week basis.”
It’s unclear whether the Hornets could get permission from the state to reopen the training facility, part of Spectrum Center in uptown Charlotte, since it would serve only the players and would be under strict NBA protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Golden State Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers said his organization will be "good partners" if and when the NBA regular season resumes. On April 28, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said the team (15-50) had been operating as if its season was over despite having 17 games remaining on the schedule.
Myers told ESPN this week that he understood what Kerr was expressing and thought the comments were taken out of context. "The truth is we have the worst record in the league. That's a fact," Myers said. "It's hard to motivate in our unique position. But that doesn't mean players don't have pride and won't come back and play and care about the league as a whole. We want to be good partners and we will be good partners. We'd like to see Steph [Curry] play with [Andrew] Wiggins; I think we got to see that for one game where we were hoping to see that."
Adrian Wojnarowski: Orlando has been granted written authorization from the Orange County (FL) Department of Health and approval from NBA to test its players for the coronavirus, a team spokesman said.
As team facilities reopen in the coming days and weeks, organizations such as the Orlando Magic, LA Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be among the teams allowed to conduct coronavirus tests of every player and staff member entering facilities for individual workouts -- regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms, sources said.
The NBA recently informed teams of a "limited exception" to guidelines that forbid the testing of asymptomatic individuals in this preliminary phase of players returning to practice facilities. Essentially, the NBA will approve a written authorization from a local health authority that confirms a "robust testing program in place for at-risk health care workers" in the team's community, sources said.
The NBA plans to regularly test players for COVID-19 upon a formal resumption of the season, but the league has been reluctant in these voluntary scenarios of one-hour workouts to have a perception that the NBA is needlessly using tests that might otherwise serve those at greater risk in a community. Teams will follow numerous protocols upon players returning to facilities for these workouts, including the taking of temperatures, sources said.
If the NBA resumes play in a bubble, there will be complications as everyone arrives at a central location. Of course, everyone must get there first. That won’t necessarily be simple for international players like Luka Doncic.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Denver Nuggets are planning to re-open the team practice facility for voluntary individual player workouts on Monday -- not today, sources tell ESPN.
Ryan Wolstat: Raptors general manager Bobby Webster said the team pushed to get players shooting back internally in large part for mental health purposes. Get them out of their apartments back on court shooting. Says those players in town mostly interested in taking part.
MICHELE ROBERTS CAN'T remember when she first heard about the "bubble," the idea of isolating NBA players in a hotel so the league could resume its season amid the coronavirus pandemic. But she remembers her reaction to it vividly. "When that one was first floated," said Roberts, the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, "there was some consternation."
A strict bubble where players are separated from their families, and only go to and from practices and games to a hotel, might seem attractive initially, Roberts said. But to enforce it, everyone inside would likely have to submit to some level of surveillance. And to Roberts, a former public defender and trial lawyer, that was problematic from the jump. "Are we going to arm guards around the hotel?" Roberts wondered. "That sounds like incarceration to me."
The hypothetical also didn't sit well with her constituents, the NBA's players. If a quarantined zone guaranteed players and coaches wouldn't get COVID-19, they told her it would be worth the sacrifice of separating from family and friends for several months. But without surveillance, how could anyone guarantee the bubble was impenetrable? What if a team staffer went to get a slice of pizza and became infected? What if an asymptomatic family member or significant other came to visit and spread the virus? If the honor code was too lax, but a police state was too draconian, what was the point of a bubble?
But one thing has changed -- the growing acceptance that if and when the NBA does resume, it will be in a world where the risk of contracting COVID-19 is ever-present. If the NBA is to come back in some form, there will be, by definition, risk. "This is a world with the virus," Roberts said. "And we have to figure out a way to work, play and live in a world with the virus. "The questions have now evolved from, 'Are we going to play again?' to, 'If we play, what are the risks going to look like?'"
Doug Smith: Raptors say they have permission for limited opening of training facility under tight NBA guidelines and rules. It will begin "the week of May 11" Th is not -- NOT -- a precursor to any resumption of play, it's letting a few employees at time back in the workplace
Publicly, the NBA has been vague about its plans to restart after suspending the season on March 11. There is no schedule for full teams to return to practice, nevermind to play real games. Privately, however, commissioner Adam Silver and his team in the league office have been making contingency plans for every imaginable scenario for how the coronavirus pandemic develops, according to recent conversations with sources from teams, agents, and the league. “What’s been hard for people to understand is the amount of flexibility that Adam has,” said one source with knowledge of discussions in the league office. “He doesn’t need to make a decision until he has as much information as possible based on where we are as a country and where the NBA is as a league.”
Multiple sources corroborated that Silver and his team have a decision tree that will guide the NBA’s choices. The league has the ability to chop off portions of the remaining schedule depending on what happens from both a player and public health standpoint. Here’s the league’s thinking based on a variety of possible events:
The Warriors are eliminated from postseason contention. The Cavaliers and Hawks are close, as are many other teams in the league, like the Timberwolves and Pistons. There is a belief around the league that their seasons are over. Some players want to get back on the court. “I’m excited to get some reps,” Cavs big man Larry Nance Jr. said. “I want the year to come back. I’m not gonna act like I know if we will, but I just really hope we do.” But one front office executive on a Western Conference lottery team said that while the NBA isn’t messaging that their seasons are finished, the thought is that the league won’t have the time or resources to bring all 30 teams to one location and play out the regular season.
“The first game when we get back will probably be a playoff game,” said a league source with knowledge of plans for resuming games.
A postseason play-in tournament has been weighed but is considered highly unlikely, according to multiple league sources. While a tournament could be attractive to fans and lucrative for the league in future seasons, it’s considered too dramatic of a shift in the short term.
It’s too soon to have this conversation, league front office executives say, because no one knows if games will be played and how much revenue those games would yield. The salary cap is set through a complex process based on revenue from the prior season, so right now projecting the 2020-21 salary cap is impossible without knowing if any more games will be played in 2019-20. And since no one knows when fans will be allowed back in arenas, next season’s revenue could still fall well short of expectations considering the amount of money made from live games.
September 18, 2021 | 5:41 pm EDT Update
You’re here for at least the next five years now that you’ve signed an extension. Do you allow yourself to think – or dream – about what might come over that time span since you’ve talked openly about wanting to win a title in New York? Have you allowed yourself to think about how things might progress? Julius Randle: Obviously, it’s a process. Everything is a process. We’ve been building this from the ground up. But for me, personally, that is the expectation (winning a title in New York). That’s what I want to happen within that time frame. There’s a lot of things, factors that go into that. So obviously you’ve got to weigh that stuff in.
Julius Randle: But as far as myself, I know Thibs (Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau) is thinking (it as well), it’s just win at all costs. For me personally, that’s just how I prepare myself. I prepare myself to compete at the highest level of our game. Like I said, there’s a lot of factors (that go into winning an NBA title). But I trust Leon (Knicks president Leon Rose), I trust Thibs, Wes (Knicks vice president William Wesley), our coaches, Scott (Knicks GM Scott Perry) – all these guys, I trust. That was part of my process in thinking of signing the extension and that’s my goal, that’s our goal as a team and the guys that are around us. We want to be able to say that we won a championship here in New York. I don’t think there’s any better feeling than that.
Did you guys see the video clip of Trae Young at the Garden with WWE? Do you care about that stuff? Julius Randle: Yeah I see it. But honestly, I don’t care. Obviously, that’s (for) entertainment purposes and all that (stuff), so I let people enjoy it. For me, honestly, I don’t care. I honestly didn’t even watch it. Knicks fans, they’re going to make a big deal out of it – they didn’t like it (laughs). But it’s all fun and games and hopefully they enjoyed it.
September 18, 2021 | 12:10 pm EDT Update
The Rockets have officially re-signed guard Dante Exum and waived Tyler Bey to create a roster space for him, according to the NBA’s transactions log. Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw was the first to report the Bey transaction (Twitter link). With John Wall not expected to play for the team this season as it seeks to trade him, the Rockets were in the market for another point guard. The Rockets’ interest in Exum surfaced on Tuesday.
When the Timberwolves traded up to get Leandro Bolmaro last November in the 2020 NBA Draft (yes, it was less than a year ago… it still feels weird), the question was would it be a year or two before Bolmaro came over from Barcelona to play in the NBA. The answer is one. Minnesota reached a deal and Bolmaro will be with the Timberwolves in training camp, the team announced Saturday. This is not a surprise; he was expected to come over this season. He will be playing on a rookie scale contract.
September 18, 2021 | 8:54 am EDT Update
There are reports that Anthony Davis will play center for the Los Angeles Lakers this coming season with LeBron James taking the power forward position. In the past AD said that he does not love playing the five but can do it if needed. Lakers legend James Worthy thinks that the best option is to use the former number one pick in the post. “I think initiating Anthony Davis in the post is the best option,” Worthy said on Spectrum SportsNet. “I’ve never been one of those players to say ‘I don’t wanna play three, I wanna play four. I wanna play.’ I don’t know what the problem is, maybe who he defends or where he is on the floor. I think the five is a good spot for him. Because other fives don’t have a shot at guarding him.
“You want to make opponents make adjustments. Him at the five shooting three is going to pull Gobert out and they’re going to have to put somebody small on him and he can take advantage of that. I think he needs to look at what position best suits the team and what position best suits how they wanna play before he just says ‘Ahh, one or the other.’”