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Shams: NBA Targeting 2-to-4 Weeks for Decision on Season Restart Amid Pandemic

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 13, 2020

The Golden 1 Center center empties out after the NBA basketball game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings was postponed at the last minute in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, March 11, 2020. The postponement was due to what the league said was an
Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

The NBA has established a timeline for a decision on whether to restart the 2019-20 season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, commissioner Adam Silver is "targeting" two-to-four weeks for the decision on resuming league play.

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

NBA and Adam Silver targeting a season decision in 2-to-4 weeks comes after Silver told players Friday it can go into June. Now -- for first time since the coronavirus stoppage started on March 11 -- a specific timeframe. https://t.co/TArbVNpxCZ

No NBA games have been played since the NBA announced the postponement of the season on March 11 following a confirmed positive test by Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert. Since then, the league has continued to develop and review contingency plans for the season with an eye toward finishing the 2019-20 schedule in some capacity.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski noted the league will make its determination on whether to restart based, in part, on a number of data points related to the spread of COVID-19.

Among them, the league wants a greater understanding of the trajectory of new cases, why some cases are more severe than others, developments in testing and treatment and a sense of how other professional sports leagues are navigating the same terrain—especially when it comes to athletes testing positive while continuing play.

As of now, the NBA does not have enough information on that front, though it continues to work with doctors and government agencies to get a better sense of how to handle the virus.

In the meantime, Silver is considering using two central locations to host Eastern and Western Conference games in a bid to minimize travel. Both Las Vegas and Orlando's Disney World Resort have been floated as options.

Per Wojnarowski:

"As for the format in a return to play, there still is no decision on the kind of form that would take with the 30 NBA teams, sources said. The league hasn't worked through the details on whether all 30 teams would return, or whether regular-season games would be played, or if perhaps there would be a play-in tournament to give more teams a chance to make the 16-team playoff field, sources said."

With the decision on restarting the season set for late-May/early June, that also brings into question another of the league's desires, which is to push the start of the 2020-21 season to late December. The longer it takes for the NBA to complete the current season, the more pressing the delay to the following season becomes. Silver reportedly has support for the change to the schedule.

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