Anthony Chiang: NBA says: "If, as tentatively scheduled…

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Adam Johnson: Still no news about the G League season all but likely being cancelled. The last correspondence to teams regarding shutdown/Covid? April 30th according to multiple league sources.
Shams Charania: Sources: Additional dates NBA informed on Board of Governors call: - June 15, players located internationally return to market - June 21, all players report - June 22, coronavirus testing begins
Shams Charania: Sources: The NBA informed the Board of Governors of scheduled dates: - Training camp: June 30, July 7 travel to Orlando - 2019-20 season: July 31 - Free agency: Oct. 18 - 2020-21 targets: Nov. 10 training camp, Dec. 1 opening night (can remain fluid)
Adrian Wojnarowski: Source: 29-1 vote
As you point out, there are a great many challenges in putting a game together in an outside environment, let alone hundreds of them. This is probably akin to what the league faces in putting together the Summer League, except on a larger scale. Just think of the challenges in assembling the support staff to make this thing happen: Things like stat crews, timekeepers, referees, ambulances and medical arrangements. All of these people need to be found, lodged, and kept disease-free while the league is going on.
Then there’s the next level, where you find a lot of things in the Ops Manual that aren’t anywhere else. The league needs to invent a lot of rules in a very short time to deal with things like potentially expanded rosters, two-way rules, and waiver restrictions (can one of the “uninvited” teams still sign players or claim them on waivers?), and the fact that a complete calendar change has invalidated many of the dates in contracts and the league calendar.
Finally, the league needs to deal with the much larger issue of KEEPING EVERYONE ALIVE, which absolutely should be the thing that takes up the bulk of the league’s attention and resources. How does the league minimize or eliminate the worst-case scenario of a season-ending outbreak? For me, that priority is the one that should trump everything else, and it doesn’t feel like that’s happening. Where do you stand on this?
Even from the standpoint of just looking at the money, abrupt cancellation of the remainder of the 2019-20 season isn’t the worst-case scenario. Severe impingement on 2020-21 and beyond is of a larger magnitude. Which only reinforces your point that safety has to be at minimum an equal pillar in the priorities for a restart. It seems to me we’re seeing a lot of mission creep here. When what should be a simple-in-prospect, but difficult-in-execution attempt to maximize for the combination of viewership/revenue and safety is giving way to a Christmas Tree situation where everyone is trying to hang their favorite ornamental solutioneering on the restart, no matter how inapposite the current, narrow demands of the moment.
The Timberwolves will play 64 games this season. The Mavericks will play 75-77 games before the traditional playoffs. Should Dallas players get paid a higher percentage of their salaries than Minnesota players? That’s one of the thorny questions as the NBA resumes its season.
Each year, the salary cap is set to a number designed to get total player salaries to about 50% of league-wide revenue. Obviously, that’s a difficult target to hit precisely. So, there are mechanisms to adjust the distribution of money if necessary. If their total slated salaries are higher than 50% of revenue, players don’t receive their full salaries. If their total salaries are lower than 50% of revenue, players get a shortfall check from owners. Coronavirus has disrupted that well-oiled system
On the other hand, they don’t have to do any more work. Other players must travel to Orlando, live under restrictions, play games with heightened injury concerns and risk contracting coronavirus just so the league can increase its revenue. Should eliminated players reap the rewards while sitting home? This tension also exists in normal times. Players across 16 playoff teams divvied up just $20 million total for competing in the 2018 playoffs, and the amount was similar last year. Player income is largely earned on the regular season, even though the players playing in the playoffs disproportionately draw the revenue that funds everyone.
Tim Reynolds: NBA player on what he's been told to expect when his team gets to the Disney/ESPN complex: "Lots of testing and lots of rules."
As the NBA models a 22-team format for the season's proposed resumption beginning July 31 in Orlando, a timeline shared with teams as a last possible date for a Finals Game 7 lands on Oct. 12, sources told ESPN. Commissioner Adam Silver is expected to have a proposal to take to a vote of the NBA's Board of Governors on Thursday, sources said. The expectation is that the NBA draft and the opening of free agency would follow in sequential order in October, sources said.
The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are still discussing details on a format, and there is still room for the league to maneuver on the structure of a return-to-play ideas. The Board of Governors requires a three-fourths passage of the 30 teams on a plan, but there's an expectation among owners that they'll fall into line and overwhelmingly approve the commissioner's recommendation on a plan, sources said.
The NBA has been advancing on a plan that would include regular-season, play-in and playoff games for the 16 teams currently holding playoff position -- and six more teams within six games of the eighth seed in each conference, sources said. Those teams include New Orleans, Portland, San Antonio, Sacramento and Phoenix in the Western Conference -- and Washington in the East, sources said.
Bobby Marks: June 1 marks the second wave of salary reductions for NBA players. Starting on June 15, the 25% reduction per paycheck will either decrease or increase based on how many regular season games are played.
Nike announced Saturday it was canceling its 2020 Elite Youth Basketball League season because of the coronavirus pandemic, ending any chance the prestigious grassroots events would be played later in the summer or early in the fall. "As we continue to navigate the evolving impact of COVID-19, we are canceling the remainder of the 2020 EYBL season," the company announced on its EYBL website. "This was not a decision taken lightly, but the health and safety of our athletes, families, fans and employees is our top priority. We look forward to bringing the EYBL back in 2021."
Everything has changed in the last month because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Euroleague officially canceled the season on May 25. How was the process of dealing with the league? Bostjan Nachbar: It was actually a very long process. We started with the players in Milano feeling very insecure about what’s going on, because that’s where the first outbreak was. So we started feeling a big need to suspend the season during the second week of March. There was a lot of talk with players, a lot of misinformation and a lot of unsureness on what to do, but we decided to notify early that the players were wishing to suspend the league because they didn’t feel safe anymore to travel and play. After the competition was suspended it started two months of long process communicating with the Euroleague and really making them aware of the players’ stance throughout this process. The first thing we wanted to secure were the minimum salaries that players must receive because there were no “force majeure” rules in players’ contracts. So we were able to achieve the minimum standard for players today which is 80 percent of their annual salary. Then the next step was talking with the players about whether they would like to continue or not, whether they felt safe enough to continue with the competition.
Bostjan Nachbar: The Euroleague has a proposition to finish the season with a tournament in July. But the issue started mounting because players had difficulty traveling back the players and getting back on the court. So the biggest fear from players, interestingly enough, was not as much the virus itself but the injuries. They felt that having two to three weeks of training camp and then jumping right into the most important part of the season of playing up to nine games in 22 days was simply too much risk involved from the injury standpoint. So our communication was daily with the Euroleague, leading up to a meeting with two players from each team and the management of Euroleague in which the players were very direct and very honest about how they felt. And two days later the season was canceled.
That’s a big difference between the Euroleague and NBA, because the NBA is willing to adjust its schedule to the new situation. Bostjan Nachbar: Yeah, this is the big thing. People sometimes forget that the NBA operates on their own schedule and on their own timeline. In Europe, you always have to adjust whether it’s to European competitions or to domestic competitions, depending on which side you’re looking from. So this is why it’s so difficult to be your own boss. You always have to look for permissions or look for adjustments and agreements. And that makes it much more complicated.
You’re an example of a player who went to the NBA and returned to Europe. And coincidentally you were a teammate of the current president of the NBPA, Chris Paul. Does it help the relationship between both organizations? Bostjan Nachbar: Honestly, I didn’t have any discussion with Chris on this topic. But I had a great experience playing with Chris. He was a rookie the year that I played with him and it would be great to see him again and catch up, especially in the roles we are now. But I have to say that Michele Roberts has been extremely supportive of what we do. And she is the one we keep in touch director to director, so to say. Same goes for Matteo Zuretti who is their international department director and he’s been amazing in this process.
GCM: From a conditioning standpoint, how would you compare where you are now to how you felt when the season was suspended? Is this like starting over in a way? Valanciunas: It’s kind of like coming back from the summer. We’ve had two-and-a-half months off. But then again, I play with the (Lithuania) National Team every summer, so it’s not like you always have so much time off every summer. So it’s sort of like coming back and getting ready for training camp again, to get back in shape and into game rhythm. It’s unusual, with guys wearing masks and stuff, but it is sort of like getting yourself ready for training camp right now.
Even though Mutombo’s native DRC hasn’t been crushed by COVID-19 cases (69 deaths as of Friday), he brims with excitement that his foundation is helping to feed frontline workers and taking on other local initiatives. “We serve lunch and dinner to four hospitals with more than 80 doctors and nurses, which was great,” he said. “I’m glad that we took those initiatives. In the Congo, right now, we are launching a local mask production, so where we are making masks, we are asking people to start making masks at the foundation headquarters.”
When the coronavirus crisis shut down the NBA season, Cameron Johnson drove directly from Phoenix to Pittsburgh in a 28-hour trip so he could return to his Moon Township home. Before Johnson goes back, he wanted to give back. The Phoenix Suns rookie donated food and drinks Thursday morning to families at Hyde Elementary in the Moon Area School District, where his mother, Amy, is a school nurse.
Johnson filled 12 dozen bags with Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwiches and nuggets, bottled water and bags of chips. He spent nearly three hours handing them out with his mother, his father Gil and his brothers Donovan and Braylon alongside Hyde Elementary principal Joe Johnson, food service director Christie Leininger and school counselor Neil Tkatch.
Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter was “shocked” to hear that there are some NBA stars who don’t want to play at all before there is a vaccine for the coronavirus. Something that basically means that they don’t plan to return to court anytime soon since there’s nothing concrete regarding when a coronavirus cure will be available. In a video interview with NBC’s Chris Fosberg, Kanter revealed a discussion he had with some of his friends from other teams. The Turkish big man mentioned that his friends told him that certain superstars won’t play when the NBA resumes.
“This is my ninth year in the league, I have so many friends on different teams, right? I was actually talking to one of my friends and he said—I’m not going to tell who or which team—but he said, ‘”here’s so many guys on our team that they’re not going to play.’ They’re actually in the Eastern Conference, they’re in a playoff spot. And they’re like superstars. Like, if I told you who it is, you’d go crazy,” Kanter said. “They said ‘hey, we are not going to play,’ They said that until they find a vaccine, until they find a cure, they are not going to play,” Kanter later added before saying that: “I was shocked by those players that don’t want to play. If they don’t play… Those people are All-Star players.”
The league has polled its general managers, who largely have voted with self-interest as a motivator. Reportedly, 53% of the general managers voted for the return to include only the 16 teams in playoff position. However, the general managers are under the impression that their opinions are merely that — opinions. League sources believe Silver, with broadcast partners and medical advisors shaping his thinking, ultimately will be the one to make the decision about how the NBA resumes play.
Staples Center is one of the largest entertainment venues in Los Angeles, and as the city gets closer to Phase 4 of reopening, the arena is seeking accreditation on COVID-19 cleaning protocols. Phase 4 of the “Roadmap to Recovery” affects all entertainment venues where large groups gather, and are considered to be “highest risk.”
Safety measures are also integrated — they were planned before coronavirus suspended the 2019-20 NBA season. Sarver added that the facility was made with as few doors as possible. “The less spreading of germs, the better,” the owner said. “The idea is to have less door handles, door knobs to touch. Players can come in and out and do what they need to do and never touch a door handle.”
“What the World Health Organization is asking us to do, they’re asking all of us to be part of the solution or causing no more problems,” Mutombo said. “I think we’ve already seen so many deaths already. We’ve already lost so many loved ones. I think every one of us who’s living in America today … I think all of us knows somebody who has died from COVID-19, either a friend or friend of a friend or a family member.”
Resume the regular season with all 30 teams followed by a play-in tournament (8 votes); • Go straight to the playoffs with either a play-in tournament or a World Cup-style group stage (5 votes); • Resume the regular season with all 30 teams and then go straight to the playoffs (1 vote).
There were also several questions about what a potential "playoff-plus" model might look like, in terms of how many teams would be involved and how it would be formatted. A play-in tournament for the seventh and eighth spots in each conference -- with the top six advancing directly to the playoffs -- received the most votes with 13. A play-in tournament for the eighth spot in each conference received nine votes, while a group stage format got eight votes. When asked how many teams should participate in one of these expanded playoff formats, there were 15 votes for 20 teams, while seven voted for 24, five for 18 and three for 22.
Meanwhile, when asked on a 1-5 scale for what extent they would support increasing the number of inactive roster spots available to teams, 13 voted for "5" (strongly support), while eight others voted for either 3 or 4. There also was a strong preference to add two-way players to playoff rosters -- something that previously wasn't the case. Only three teams said they would vote against adding two-way players to playoff rosters, while 19 said they would support it if rosters remain the same size. The eight other teams said they would support adding two-way players even if rosters expanded beyond 15.
The routine at the Raptors practice facility was disrupted slightly for a good cause yesterday.In addition to those players taking advantage of the one-on-one gym time the team is offering, the facility was playing host to voluntary antibodies testing open to players, coaches and staff. It’s part of a Mayo clinic study the NBA has joined. Teams, at least the teams with their own practice facilities open, have the opportunity to undergo the testing which will confirm first whether you have already had the virus and then if antibodies are present in your blood.
As for the league itself, the information, while beneficial in the broader sense, doesn’t really provide them guidance one way or the other as they attempt to restart the season in the next couple of months. What it can do is provide a clearer picture of the prevalence of the virus within the league and can help promote long-term efforts to develop a vaccine and perhaps eventually bring an end to this global pandemic. As a league source said Tuesday the information isn’t necessarily “driving decision making” but it will provide information and at this point all information about the virus that can be accumulated can only help down the road.
By comparing the results, the Mayo Clinic will be able to validate whether the finger prick test is a reliable one for antibodies. The knowledge that a player has antibodies in his system also opens up the possibility of a plasma donation that could be used to help someone suffering from the virus overcome it. Based strictly on their size and the amount of training they do, NBA athletes would have an increased plasma volume making them better candidates than the average Joe.
The Cavs are 19-46. Last in the Eastern Conference, they have the league’s second-worst record overall. Despite their place in the standings, they want to be included in the restart. In an anonymous, informal survey of the organization’s front office members and multiple players, Cleveland’s favored plan is one that centers on all 30 teams going to Florida and being able to play an undetermined amount of games. “We would love the opportunity to join and play games,” a team executive told “I think it’s the right thing to do.”
There is still so much uncertainty, so much risk and, for many, still plenty of skepticism about whether or not a return to play can be executed safety and with everybody’s best interests in mind. Most insist that they trust commissioner Adam Silver, the board of governors and the players association to find a workable solution, but there are more lingering questions than answers available.
"I’m not gonna bulls--t you, I’m pretty skeptical just because I’m a skeptical person," Toronto Raptors guard told TSN in a wide-ranging phone interview last week. "But I think for me, I’ve been trying to be more in support publicly just because I want to play, you know what I mean? I’m not gonna create the rift that’s gonna [keep us from playing]. You could list a million reasons why we wouldn’t be able to play. There are certain scenarios where guys are probably [reluctant] – maybe they don’t feel comfortable or guys are on teams that aren’t gonna make the playoffs. How do we get through all of those hurdles? "There are just a lot of questions that nobody really has the answers to. So, I would just say the uncertainty and the unpredictability in my eyes would be the biggest challenge because we’re trying to plan for the unknown."
Pritzker has said the state of Illinois is on pace to enter Phase 3 of its reopening process on Friday. Lori Lightfoot indicated in plans released Tuesday that the city of Chicago will likely follow suit in early June, which is why the Bulls must still seek permission from city officials. Many Bulls, upon receiving clearance from the league in March, departed the Chicagoland area. In recent weeks, some in the area have visited the Advocate Center for treatment and rehab sessions with league permission, according to Johnson.
Discussions were continuing Wednesday within the league on how the NBA plans to structure a return-to-play scenario. The league has no current expectation that a decision on a finalized plan will emerge off of Friday afternoon's call with the NBA's Board of Governors, sources said.
For the Heat, the ultimate call on who’s in and who’s out will come down to Riley, in consultation with the team’s and league’s medical staffs. The irony is that Riley, who turned 75 in March, is expected to be left to monitor the team from a distance, in South Florida.
Storyline: Coronavirus
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September 18, 2021 | 12:10 pm EDT Update

Rockets re-sign Dante Exum, waive Tyler Bey

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.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 17 more rumors

Timberwolves sign Leandro Bolmaro

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.
When these outlandish claims air nationally, it doesn’t take long to go viral on social media. When it does, everyone talks about it and shares it everywhere. When the comments are negative, it can result in fans saying disrespectful things, but this comment did something different. “You got a bunch of white kids that repeat ‘I want Iguodala!’ all the time. That’s just a cool thing about it. But when you break down real basketball. Nah, I wouldn’t do that,” the Warriors vet furthered.
Scottie Barnes: I remember walking into the green room after Adam Silver called my name, and some people from the front office were waiting for me. We were shaking hands, and making introductions, and I was so excited I could barely get the words out. But there was one main thing that I really wanted to get across about myself: I’m ready to work. Not ease into it, not half-do things or make excuses because I’m one of the new guys. I’m ready to work. I’m ready to grind. I’m ready to WIN. And I could tell that the feeling was definitely mutual. So, to the fans, I want y’all to hear it straight from me: I couldn’t be happier to be here in Toronto.