NBA COVID-19 Roundup: Season’s return in June the ‘best-case scenario’

Raptors analyst Paul Jones joins Lead Off to discuss the COVID-19 timeline from his perspective, outlining all the steps he made as it was escalating, and how he was able to play it safe right from the get-go.

Like everyone else, the basketball world is also trying to navigate the murky and rapidly changing waters of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moving forward, we’ll use this space as a method to get you caught up on a weekly basis with some of the latest happenings around the coronavirus and its impact on the NBA and basketball as a whole.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in:

NBA possibly resuming season in June

According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA is currently preparing for a best-case scenario of the season resuming in mid-to-late June.

ESPN NBA front office insider Bobby Marks tweeted out what this scenario might look like, and how it would conveniently line up the start of the 2020-21 season with a timeframe that has reportedly been discussed before.

The Christmas Day game is often seen as the unofficial start to the NBA season for many around the league and, as the New York Times’ Marc Stein pointed out, this June return would give owners in favour of a later start to the season a chance to see if they could operate games during the summer.

Donovan Mitchell still without symptoms

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell appeared on Good Morning America Monday to talk about testing positive for the coronavirus last week.

Mitchell said he’s asymptomatic and so while he isn’t experiencing the full impact of the COVID-19 virus, he says in a way it’s even scarier, given he could’ve been spreading the disease unknowingly.

“I don’t have any symptoms. I could walk down the street (and) if it wasn’t public knowledge that I was sick, you wouldn’t know it,” he said. “I think that’s the scariest part about this virus. You may seem fine, be fine. And you never know who you may be talking to, who they’re going home to.”

Mitchell also addressed his teammate Rudy Gobert, who also tested positive and has since become the scapegoat of this whole affair, seen as a a perceived ‘patient zero’ in the sports world.

Mitchell said he was “glad (Gobert’s) doing OK,” but admitted that it “took a while for me to kind of cool off.”

Mitchell’s initial anger with Gobert seems justified, but a cooler head has prevailed here.

G League season likely to be cancelled

In some more sad-but-not-that-surprising news, the NBA G League is likely to be cancelled soon.

The league was set to run until the end of March with the playoffs occurring in April, but with the NBA season on hiatus, that throws the G League into a limbo that, unfortunately, logic dictates will mean a cancelled season. If it’s not due to scheduling issues then it may be because the G League flies commercially and are “money-drains” for NBA teams to operate, according to ESPN’s Wojnarowski.

Turkish League still operating

In Turkey just about everything – schools, bars, clubs, restaurants, theatres, gyms, etc. – is shut down. But one thing that isn’t is the country’s domestic professional basketball league.

Canadian Kyle Wiltjer, who plays for Turk Telekom in Turkey was most astute in pointing this fact out Monday.

According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, the Turkish Super League appears to be the only major basketball league in the world that is still operating.

Danny Green intends to collect championship ring at Scotiabank Arena

Lastly, in some positive news (if you’re a Toronto Raptors fan that is), former Raptors guard Danny Green only wants to receive his championship ring in Toronto at Scotiabank Arena.

Green’s Inside the Green Room podcast co-host Harrison Sanford sent out a tweet Sunday responding to a question about how Green would receive his championship ring, and said the former Raptor is willing to wait until the next time he gets to play at Scotiabank Arena.

The Raptors were scheduled to host the Los Angeles Lakers on March 24, but those plans are obviously dashed with the league now looking at a June return, at the earliest.

Either way, however, it would appear Green wants to receive his ring and celebrate it in front of a packed house at Scotiabank Arena, and is willing to wait as long as it takes to do so.

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