Report: 'Faction' of NBA Players Discussing Viability of Orlando Restart Plan

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIIJune 10, 2020

Basketballs sporting the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center logo are displayed Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, in Detroit. The $90 million center includes a sports medicine, treatment and rehab facility managed by the Henry Ford Health System, as well as retail and public spaces. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

The NBA's Board of Governors and National Basketball Players Association approved a return-to-play plan last week that would resume the 2019-20 season starting July 31 at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida.

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

Target NBA schedule from '19-'20 to '20-'21 season ∙ Training camp - July 9-11 ∙ '19-'20 season - July 31-Oct. 12 ∙ Draft lottery - Aug. 25 ∙ NBA Draft - Oct. 15 ∙ Free agency - Oct. 18 ∙ '20-'21 training camp - Nov. 10 ∙ '20-'21 season start - Dec. 1 (via @wojespn) https://t.co/H1C8N60DKn

But doubt surfaced Wednesday among a "faction of players," and the league and NBPA are "expected to agree on a provision that wouldn't require players" to participate in the remainder of the season, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

The NBA and NBPA are expected to agree on a provision that wouldn't require players to restart the season, nor subject them to discipline for staying home, sources tell ESPN. The players would lose a portion of salary for those games missed. https://t.co/WkV5qqEmE5

Players have been voicing certain concerns, per Wojnarowski:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

The NBA and NBPA are nearing completion on items needed to reach a final agreement on parameters of a return-to-play, sources said. Some players with hesitation have been discussing a number of issues on return, including family concerns, COVID-19, social justice, and more.

The plan only involves the 22 teams within six games of a playoff spot.

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

A reminder of how the standings look and who's heading to Orlando 👀 https://t.co/X1ottDknIA

The NBA suspended the season on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.

Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press added that "many" players are concerned about being separated from their families for weeks on end.

Wojnarowski relayed on June 5 that the target is for 1,600 people to be in the Orlando bubble at a time with families—"likely three members at a time—allowed to join after the first round of the playoffs.

In terms of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Wojnarowski reported the league is considering how to handle a player with a medical issue:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Sources: If a player has a medical issue that might be cause for him to be excused from the Orlando restart, he would be allowed to undergo an independent examination process. Even if the player was told that he’s fit to play, he could still stay home without consequence.

Teams are currently scheduled to arrive in Orlando between July 9-11 for training camp.