The NBA is set to end its current hiatus when 22 teams arrive in Orlando in the coming weeks. The number of players that will arrive with those 22 squads is still undetermined. On Saturday, a report from ESPN revealed that the NBA, the NBPA and organizations are discussing how teams will account for injuries and potential positive coronavirus tests once play resumes.
According to ESPN’s sources, the NBA will allow teams to add players if a positive test or injury occurs during training camp or the eight-game schedule that precedes the postseason.
If COVID-19 or a serious injury strikes a team during training camps or the eight regular-season seeding games, there are expected to be no limitations on the number of players a team could sign to replace those lost, but there would be restrictions on those in the pool of eligible players, sources said.
The pool of players that teams will choose from is not set in stone. The ESPN report revealed that former NBA players and international players could be left out of replacement discussions.
Eligible replacement players probably will have had to be signed in the NBA or G League or be on training camp contracts this season, sources said. Under these restrictions, for example, no team could sign veteran Jamal Crawford — who went unsigned all season — or an international player.
Outside of eligible free agent options, teams have pushed to add two-way contract players to their rosters prior to resuming the season. Expanded rosters would add flexibility once the postseason starts and the player-replacement window closes. Regardless of the support from several teams, the NBA is hesitant to add more players to the bubble.
In large part due to the advice of medical experts pushing to keep the league’s personnel numbers as limited as possible within the bubble, the NBA has preferred to keep those players out of Orlando, and keep rosters from expanding to 17 players, sources said.
To open camp with these players on the rosters of 22 teams would constitute an additional 44 people in the bubble environment --- and the NBA is searching for ways to keep those numbers down to limit possible virus carriers and positive tests.
The Trail Blazers currently have rookies Moses Brown and Jaylen Hoard signed to two-way contracts.
Along with questions over roster size and player replacement options, ESPN’s report detailed the proposed coronavirus testing plan for players inside the bubble.
Players will be tested for COVID-19 every night in the contained Orlando campus environment, with test results returning the next morning, sources said. NBA teams will be contained to three specific hotels within the Disney complex, sources said.
You can read the full report at ESPN.