The NBA is still reportedly negotiating with the National Basketball Players Association over the exact health and safety protocols that will apply to the Lakers and the other 21 teams heading to Disney World — from whether or not resort staff will be in the bubble to if players even want to play as things currently stand — but that hasn’t stopped the league from pressing full steam ahead in terms of outlining the exact schedule players and organizations will conform to as the theoretical season gets closer.
As the leaks about everything were flying fast on Friday morning, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times tweeted out some updated dates for when teams will have to re-join their teams for training camp, when the season is set to begin, when the NBA Finals will be and more:
Updated NBA schedule:— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) June 12, 2020
Today-6/30 - Players can begin workouts w/ up to 2 coaches
6/15 - International players must report back to teams
6/22 - All players must report back
6/22-6/30 - Coronavirus testing begins
7/1-7/7. 7/8, 7/9 - Required Individual workouts
8/31-9/13 Conference Semis— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) June 12, 2020
9/15-9/28 Conference Finals
9/30-10/13 NBA Finals
Some of these dates are slightly different than the ones that were reported earlier, and like those prior dates, these may be subject to change as the increasingly public negotiations between the NBA and NBPA continue. Still, with how far things have come, it’s hard to see the season getting cancelled at this point, no matter how much both sides posture about various issues.
Additionally, some of these dates are brand new. It’s not clear if the Lakers had any players leave the country, but it seems the NBA is building in a quarantine protocol for any that did. The Lakers did have several players, including Dwight Howard, leave their home market, and so they now also have a set date they’re expected to be back in Los Angeles by (June 22).
A specific timeframe for the three preseason scrimmages between teams is also new, and confirms that teams won’t be isolating that long when they get to Orlando from their home market, with the league instead reportedly requiring two more days of negative tests before players and staffers can start to intermingle in the league’s pseudo-bubble.
These updated times also confirm that teams aren’t going to have an incredibly long time to get ready for the season before they start playing games. Still, Lakers forward Jared Dudley had previously said players would need at least four weeks to prepare, and it does seem they’ll get that, based on this calendar (with players who do those voluntary workouts with coaches having even more time). That’s a small win for the players as they continue to argue their positions.
But overall, this is just another sign that the season is drawing closer, and that Lakers basketball is almost back. We’ll see if these dates change again, but at this point it still seems certain there will be an attempt to resume the season, and we’re learning a bit more about what it will look like every day.