PORTLAND, Ore. — The NBA is preparing for the possibility of not resuming its season until mid-to-late June, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The league sees mid-to-late June as a best-case scenario for its return amid the coronavirus outbreak and is not ruling out the possibility of canceling the remainder of the season, Wojnarowski reported Sunday.
The report comes after The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Sunday that events or gatherings larger than 50 people be canceled for the next two months.
Teams have been told to look into arena availability into August and the potential of staging games at practice facilities has not been ruled out, according to ESPN.
The NBA also has not ruled out the possibility of playing games without fans, canceling the remainder of the regular season and moving directly into playoffs or canceling the season entirely. The money lost this season will be reflected in next year’s salary cap.
Earlier Sunday, ESPN reported that the rest of the NBA G-League season was likely to be canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The NBA has also extended its ban on team practices indefinitely, according to ESPN. Players are still allowed to practice individually at team facilities. According to ESPN, the NBA has sent a memo to teams saying that players can leave their team markets during the hiatus.
The Portland Trail Blazers announced last week that their practice facility would remain open during the hiatus and players would be allowed to work with coaches in 1-on-1 settings.
The Blazers (29-37) were clinging to dwindling playoff hopes when the league announced the suspension. They sat in ninth place in the Western Conference standings with 16 games left in the regular season and were 3.5 games behind the eighth-place Memphis Grizzlies.
Despite their precarious position in the standings, the Blazers were looking forward to welcoming back center Jusuf Nurkic, who was supposed to make his season debut Sunday after missing nearly a year after suffering compound fractures in his left leg. Now, Nurkic’s debut is on hold.
This article was originally published by The Oregonian/OregonLive, one of more than a dozen news organizations throughout the state sharing their coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak to help inform Oregonians about this evolving heath issue.