NBA games will resume on July 31. The league has voted an option to allow teams to sign replacement players if an injury is sustained or player tests positive for COVID-19.
NBA Resumes Matches on July 31
The NBA was allowed to resume matches on July 31 at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. This happened following a vote by the board of players and governors which gave the go-ahead. There will be 22 teams in attendance. Before the playoffs, the chosen teams will play eight regular game matches. Keeping in mind that the NBA can now officially restart, there are some details around the launch that need further attention.
One such detail is how one of the teams can act in case a player sustains an injury or tests positive for COVID-19. What is known so far is that testing of players will be conducted every night, once they set foot in Orlando. The league however is in a strong position to proceed with the games.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks, if by any chance a player tests positive for COVID-19, they will be quarantined. The quarantine will last seven days but can possibly extend up to fourteen days. In light of this danger, teams are granted the option to sign players to replace the ones who are sick.
The League’s Plan for Replacement Players in a Post-COVID-19 Atmosphere
The NBA teams will have the option to select replacement players if one of their teammates falls sick or is infected with the novel coronavirus. However, there will be some limitations that are set. Although no limit will be set as to how many players each team can replace, the pool of players who are eligible will be restricted. According to news outlets, the players must have had a signed G League or NBA league training camp contract for the current season. In other words, no international players can be assigned as replacements nor players who are not signed for the season such as the famous Jamal Crawford.
Another point still in discussion is whether the injured or sick by COVID-19 players are to become ineligible to return for the rest of the season. As reported by Wojnarowski, the signing of players is planned to start near the end of June. All 30 of the league’s teams will be featured, not only the 22 which were chosen for the games in Orlando. Given that the period for signing replacement players starts, the teams will be able to pick free players. The teams will also have the option to convert two-way players to NBA contracts.
Keeping in mind that the signing of replacement players might be a necessity for some teams, others may prefer an alternative way. When an exchange player arrives in Orlando, he will be quarantined. This raises the question as to whether some teams will prefer to “wait out” for their team members to return instead of going through the whole process of introducing a replacement player.