The NBA and NBPA officially finalized the terms of their restarted season on Friday, which means that the countdown to Disney World can officially begin. While eight teams are home for the summer, the league’s 22 remaining franchises will be in attendance, and they’ll each play eight regular-season “seeding” games for seeding purposes before proceeding to the playoffs.
But who will those teams bring with them? What kind of basketball will they encounter in Orlando? And what happens if more players get sick in a bubbled outbreak of COVID-19? Fortunately, we have the answers, starting with the moves taking place during this week’s transaction window.
Tracking the latest signings:
How many players can teams bring to Orlando?
Teams are permitted to bring 17 total players to Orlando — up to 15 players on standard contracts and two additional two-way players. Playoff rosters will also consist of 17 players: 13 active and four inactive.
Are players required to go to Orlando?
No. Between the coronavirus, concerns about the quarantine situation and the desire to continue fighting for social justice, there are all sorts of valid reasons for players to be wary about going to Orlando. Ahead of the departure date, teams are sending questionnaires to players and coaches to determine whether they are healthy enough to make the trip.
If a team decides a player is high-risk from a health perspective, they may be excused from Orlando and will still receive their full salary. Any other player is free to opt-out of playing, and will not be in breach of their contract. However, if they voluntarily decide not to play, they will not be paid for those missed games.
What happens if a player tests positive for COVID-19?
Any player who tests positive will be required to quarantine for a minimum of seven days, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. According to multiple sources, any player who contracts the coronavirus or gets injured can be replaced, but the replaced player will not be eligible to return to the Orlando bubble.
- Enter immediate isolation/separate location — “Isolation Housing”
- Retest to confirm positive
- Exit isolation after consecutive negative tests and return to activities
However, the occurrence of a small or otherwise expected number of COVID-19 cases will not require a decision to suspend or cancel the resumption of the 2019-20 season, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Will teams be permitted to sign replacement players?
Yes. The league has set its “transaction window,” in which teams will be permitted to sign replacement players, from June 23 at 12 p.m. ET until June 30 at 11:59 p.m. ET., per Charania. It will feature all 30 teams, not just the 22 that will be competing in Orlando. Once the period begins, teams will be able to sign eligible free agents, convert two-way players into full NBA contracts, and waive players during the given time frame.
Who are the best available free agents?
There are plenty of free agents available for teams to sign. Here’s a look at some:
One thing that is interesting to consider is if key players opt out of Disney, the free agents who are currently available might have to play real postseason minutes for teams they weren’t even a part of before this.