As the NBA firms up its 22-team Orlando restart schedule, 14 of the teams will be eliminated within 53 days of arriving — and only four teams will remain after 67 days, sources said.
The NBA has been working to make clear to players that the actual commitment of time for most teams in Orlando may be less daunting than originally perceived, especially once seen in the context of the timetables constructed into the league’s revised schedule.
The NBA is planning to begin camps July 9-11. Teams will briefly quarantine before beginning formal training camps before regular-season games resume July 30, sources said.
The six teams eliminated after eight regular-season games and a possible play-in tournament for the No. 8 seed would leave Orlando within 35 to 40 days, sources said.
The NBA expects the conference finals will end within a maximum of 82 days, leaving the two NBA finalists, sources said. The league expects the NBA Finals could start by Sept. 30.
Several roster rules that the NBA and NBPA have agreed on are expected to govern the league’s resumption at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, according to sources.
Free-agent players such as DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas — who played in the NBA this season — and those who weren’t on NBA rosters this season — JR Smith and Jamal Crawford, for example — are eligible to sign into open roster spots.
Teams won’t be allowed to sign international players, such as Nikola Mirotic, who weren’t on NBA rosters this season. Players who were playing internationally and did not have FIBA clearance at the time the season was postponed would be ruled ineligible.
Teams are allowed to bring as many as 17 players to Orlando, including 14 or 15 players on a standard NBA contract and additional two-way spots. For instance, Brooklyn can designate two-way players Chris Chiozza and Jeremiah Martin as roster spots 14 and 15 to replace injured stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. However, the Nets wouldn’t be allowed to sign two replacements for Durant and Irving.
Playoff rosters will consist of 15 players, including 13 active and two inactive. Once the playoffs start, teams can replace any player who tests positive for the coronavirus with a substitute player. This new player would be subject to a minimum seven-day quarantine period.
There will be a one-week transaction window in late June that will allow teams to waive or sign a player. During this period, a team can convert two-way players such as Luguentz Dort of the Oklahoma City Thunder to a standard contract. For example, if Dort is converted to a standard contract, Oklahoma City would be allowed to sign a two-way player to replace him.
Eight teams — Denver, the LA Clippers, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento and San Antonio — have an open roster spot and can sign a player who played in the NBA or the G-League this season.
The eight teams left out of the Orlando resumption are allowed to waive or sign players during the transaction window. They cannot sign a player to a two-way contract.