The NBA’s experiment at the Disney World campus continues to be a success, with no COVID-19 cases reported in the latest round of testing, but uncertainty still surrounds the start of next season, writes ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The league office is telling teams that the priority will be to play a full 82-game schedule and to have fans present for as many of those games as possible. December 1 has been set as a tentative start date, but the league is willing to be flexible if it would result in more games with paying customers. Sources tell Wojnarowski that Martin Luther King Day, January 18, is being considered for opening night and February and March are realistic as well.
It’s also possible that some NBA cities will be able to host large crowds by winter, while others still have high virus rates. Woj says conversations have been held regarding neutral-site games or having teams temporarily move to non-NBA markets where fans could attend. Canada’s borders may still be closed to U.S. traveling parties when the season begins, forcing the Raptors to move their operations to an American city.