The video games are nonetheless 51/2 weeks away however the Raptors made their first massive transfer in direction of the resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season.
These gamers and crew employees who both reside in Toronto or remained right here as soon as the pandemic started boarded a flight for Fort Myers, Fla., the place they may stay till the NBA’s Campus at World Disney World in Orlando opens in early July.
The Raptors are the primary crew to make a transfer however gamers from everywhere in the world are returning to their groups this week the place they may bear testing for the Coronavirus in an effort to make sure that all NBA workers getting into the bubble in Orlando are virus free.
Because the lone crew residing exterior the continental United States, the Raptors had the choice of doing their pre-training camp in Toronto at their very own facility. That may have meant bringing over half the crew again from the U.S. for slightly over every week after which having them cross the border once more as a bunch to go to Orlando. It simply made sense to keep away from as many border crossings and as a lot journey as attainable.
By Wednesday any participant on any of the 22 groups ultimately headed for Orlando should inform their respective groups if they don’t intend to participate within the re-start of the league.
Clearly there are dangers concerned and will probably be each participant’s proper to make that call. Those that select to not partake is not going to be penalized though the share of their wage they might accrue had they agreed to go will likely be docked.
Already one ESPN report has confirmed that Washington’s Davis Bertans will likely be opting out of the video games, though he’s reportedly becoming a member of the crew to participate within the coaching camp portion previous to the re-start of the league.
Bertans is a 27-year previous Latvian ahead and among the finest three-point shooters within the league. He’s slated to grow to be an unrestricted free agent on the finish of the present season and may money in properly.
However with two earlier ACL accidents on his resume, he and his agent have made the choice to not danger a considerably rushed prep interval with a view to play eight video games within the remaining common season. The Wizards playoff hopes are slim as they’re beginning with a 51/2 sport deficit to the current No. eight seeds within the East, the Orlando Magic.
All informed, Bertans can be forfeiting $520,000 by sitting out the ultimate eight video games of the season in accordance with ESPN after which playoff cash too assuming the Wizards may knock off Orlando in a play-in sequence once more assuming they may get inside 4 video games of the Magic on the conclusion of these eight video games.
The Raptors is not going to maintain crew exercises in Fort Myers, these the NBA has mandated should wait till they get on to the Orlando campus, however will proceed their particular person exercises at a Alico Area, residence to the Florida Gulf Coast College Eagles.
Testing for the coronavirus for all Orlando-bound NBA personnel begins Tuesday and will likely be repeated each different day. Tuesday may also see the gamers and travelling get together — all groups are restricted to a complete of 35 folks to enter the Orlando bubble — subjected to antibody testing. That may solely be repeated if an individual assessments constructive for the virus.
The whole course of all however accepts that there are going to be constructive assessments. It’s inevitable. However with testing starting at present (Tuesday), that provides a participant who does initially take a look at constructive a minimal of two full weeks to get well in time to enter the bubble.
The hope and the expectation is that every one the precautions the league has taken and can take as soon as that campus opens will mitigate the dangers as a lot as attainable however the actuality is nobody will actually know till they’re all within the bubble.
There are many issues going ahead, together with what had been a regularly rising variety of COVID-19 instances in Orange County the place Orlando resides. That rise lastly was halted Sunday however the numbers stay excessive in an space the league will likely be drawing staff from every day and bringing into the bubble.
For now nearly all of gamers appear to be on board with the plan to renew, however that too may change at any second.
What we do know is the Raptors have already taken step one in direction of seeing how efficient that plan will be.