As the calendar turns to July, that means the 2019-20 NBA season restart is set to officially tip off later this month. However, the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact teams ahead of play resuming. Let’s check in on what’s happening around the league:
- Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo “remains undecided” on playing in Orlando, per Eric Woodyard of ESPN. Oldaipo returned earlier this season after recovering from a ruptured quadriceps and is concerned about reinjury given the amount of time off from playing and the fact that he wasn't 100% when he took the floor this year.
- Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal hasn’t decided on if he’ll participate in the NBA restart, per ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk:
Bradley Beal says he hasn't decided yet on whether to play in Orlando. He continues to work out and said he isn't "swayed, one way or another."— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) July 1, 2020
- The Denver Nuggets have closed their practice facilities after two members of their 35-person Orlando traveling party tested positive for the coronavirus, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. An additional positive test has been identified since the facilities were shut down on Saturday. The team is scheduled to travel on July 7 to Orlando for the season restart.
- NBA commissioner Adam Silver has acknowledged the rise in positive cases of COVID-19 around the country and says the league could adjust its plans if the situation changes (via ESPN):
“Never full steam ahead no matter what,” Silver told TIME. “One thing we are learning about this virus is much [is] unpredictable, and we and our players together with their union look at the data on a daily basis. If there were something to change that was outside of the scope of what we are playing for, certainly we would revisit our plans.”
- Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers notes that “all indications” point to Lou Williams playing for the team in Orlando. Williams was reportedly 50-50 about participating in the restart given his concern over taking attention away from social justice issues.
- The Phoenix Suns have signed point guard Cameron Payne to a two-year deal, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
- Zion Williamson will be the “Next Gen” cover athlete for NBA 2K21, it was announced Wednesday. The Pelicans rookie will be on the cover of the popular basketball video game when it releases on the next generation of consoles coming out this holiday. Blazers star Damian Lillard will be the cover athlete when the game releases for current systems.
The NBA season is scheduled to restart on July 30 at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.