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When will the NBA return? Latest updates amid coronavirus suspension

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How coronavirus is affecting NBA's pre-draft process (1:07)

Adrian Wojnarowski breaks down how the coronavirus is going to impact the NBA's 2020 pre-draft process. (1:07)

The 2019-20 NBA season began an indefinite hiatus on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. When will the league be back, and what will the rest of the season look like?

Commissioner Adam Silver initially said that the suspension would last at least 30 days, but a mid-to-late-June return is now looking like a best-case scenario.

Get the latest updates from ESPN's insiders and analysts on the NBA's response to the coronavirus outbreak here.

MORE: Coronavirus cancellations and reactions in sports


Latest intel

March 24: NBA front office executives want the league to provide tentative contingencies on a return to play this season, but league officials have been reticent to share those estimates with teams, according to a report by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The loosest of drop-dead dates on completing the NBA Finals is Labor Day weekend in early September, sources say, which teams say necessitates games starting back up by July 1 -- and practice facilities reopening weeks before that.

No one in the NBA wants to be tied to Labor Day weekend, because no one -- not the commissioner, not the teams, not the NBPA -- wants to limit the possibility of the NBA salvaging something of a season. If the NBA season could start later in July and finish later in September, well, no one is ruling out that idea, either.


More updates

  • March 28: The New York Knicks announced that owner Jim Dolan, executive chairman and chief executive officer for the Madison Square Garden Company, has tested positive for the coronavirus. Dolan was experiencing little to no symptoms and is in self-isolation.

  • March 24: The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were officially postponed until 2021. For the NBA and Team USA, the delay raises big questions. Here are the answers so far.

  • March 20: The NBA plans to pay players their next checks on April 1 but hasn't committed yet to next payments due on April 15, according to sources of ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The NBA informed teams that the league will provide "additional guidance" on the April 15 payment date, according to a memo. Force majeure language in the CBA allows for a percentage of contracts to be withheld in extreme circumstances.

  • March 20: NBA front-office executives, draft prospects, agents and college coaches say they are bracing for the potential impact of a delayed 2020 NBA draft with a heavily reduced pre-draft process.

  • March 19: Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart and two Los Angeles Lakers players were the latest in the NBA to test positive for coronavirus, the teams announced. Smart posted a tweet confirming that he had tested positive. The Lakers players were not identified by name in a statement released by the team.

  • March 19: The Philadelphia 76ers announced three members of its organization have tested positive for the coronavirus, hours after the Denver Nuggets confirmed one positive test. The Sixers said players, coaches and basketball operations support staff were among those tested, following the recommendation of medical experts and the NBA. The three people who received positive tests are in self-isolation. Neither the 76ers nor the Nuggets revealed whether the positive tests belong to players.

  • March 19: The NBA sent out a memo that said starting March 20, all 30 NBA teams must close their practice and training facilities to players and staff until further notice, sources told ESPN. Now players are both not allowed to use team facilities, nor, as laid out in a memo sent out by the league, work out at any non-team practice or training facilities, either -- essentially leaving players no choice but to attempt to workout at home as they, and the league, try to figure out what the next steps forward will be.

  • March 18: NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a SportsCenter interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols that as the league attempts to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, one potential option for bringing back the sport would be some kind of charity competition -- one separate from regular play -- to give millions of NBA fans stuck at home something to watch.

    Silver said he wasn't sure what the NBA schedule would look like if play resumes this season, and wasn't ready to think the league will have to cancel its season. He acknowledged the situation could lead to a complete reshaping of the NBA calendar. In the immediate term, though, Silver said he and the league's 30 teams are weighing several scenarios for when -- and how -- the NBA can resume play whenever it is able to.

  • March 18: National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts said she was "disappointed" in the criticism NBA teams and players have gotten for receiving access to COVID-19 tests and sounded off on who she believes is responsible for the scarcity of public tests in America: the federal government. "There's nothing irresponsible -- if you've got that information [that you've been exposed] -- about trying to get the tests," Roberts told ESPN.

  • March 18: Several Brooklyn Nets players and staff were experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, prompting the team's traveling party to be tested for the virus, the team said in a statement. The statement from the Nets came on the heels of public outcry about NBA players having disproportionate access to scarce tests, when the general public -- even those who are critically ill -- are struggling to get tested. One of the Nets who tested positive is Kevin Durant, ESPN confirmed.

  • March 18: All Oklahoma City Thunder players and staffers tested for COVID-19 received negative results for the virus, the team announced. Based on their exposure to the virus before their game against the Utah Jazz on March 11, in consultation with health officials, elected to have players and staff tested.

  • March 18: What does the suspension of the NBA season mean for player salaries and the salary cap? ESPN insider Bobby Marks breaks down everything in flux and under discussion.

  • March 17: The NBA is planning to raise its credit line up to $1.2 billion, which would aid the league in handling its expenses through what's expected to be an extended shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, sources told ESPN. The NBA credit line has been $650 million, so this would represent an increase of $550 million.

  • March 17: The NBA has sent a memo to NCAA coaches to inform them that the league is accepting applications to the Undergraduate Advisory Committee, which gives players feedback on potential draft stock. NBA executives widely agree that the pre-draft process -- including workouts and the combine -- will be severely limited, if not lost altogether.

  • March 14: Coalitions of professional sports teams and their arenas in both Los Angeles and Chicago joined together to provide financial support for event employees while NBA and NHL regular-season games are halted because of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.