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Report: Raptors will head directly to Orlando to resume practice

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More details on the NBA’s restart have emerged, and they have the only non-U.S. team heading straight for the bubble.

Toronto Raptors Open Practice Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images

More details have emerged about the NBA’s plans to restart the 2019-20 season, including a more detailed schedules for when players should return to their local markets, when they’ll travel to Orlando, and when practices can begin.

The NBA Champion Toronto Raptors, though, will not be returning to Toronto; according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the champs will head straight to Florida in order to avoid having to quarantine twice (when crossing the border into Canada, and again when traveling to the U.S.).

Charania reports that while the other 29 teams must return to their team’s city to begin testing by June 22, the Raptors will travel to Naples, Florida, where they’ll use Florida Gulf Coast University’s Alico Arena as their practice facility.

While it’s unfortunate that our team can’t gather here locally, this makes sense logistically, as the “double quarantine” period would only put the Raptors behind the competition in terms of practice time. Of course, I personally wouldn’t want to go anywhere near Florida right now, given the surge in coronavirus cases the state is seeing, but, we have to believe the team will take every precaution to protect the players, coaches and staff while they’re on site.

New Details about the NBA Orlando Bubble Schedule

As for other relevant details of the schedule, Charania has the full scoop but the tl;dr version is as follows:

  • Phase 1 (June 12-22): Teams gather in local cities, and may begin individual workouts.
  • Phase 2 (June 23-30): Mandatory testing.
  • Phase 3 (July 1-9, 10, 11): Mandatory individual workouts, including workouts with coaches.
  • Phase 4.A (July 7-11): Teams travel to Orlando; players to be tested, and isolate in rooms until two negative tests are returned.
  • Once teams are in Orlando, masks will be mandatory for all non-physical activity, and six-feet social distance is expected to be observed off-court.
  • Phase 4.B (July 9/10/11 – July 21): Group workouts, weight training, etc. can begin.
  • Phase 5 (July 22-29): Teams will play up to three scrimmages against other teams.
  • At this point, assuming no positive tests, players can begin socializing, including with other teams, throughout the end of the season.
  • Phase 6 (July 30-Oct. 13): Eight-game “seeding” schedule, play-in games if necessary, 2019-20 NBA Playoffs.

What if Players Don’t Play, or Leave the Bubble?

Charania reports that players who decide not to join the bubble tournament must inform their teams by June 24; they will not be “disciplined,” but their pay would be reduced by 1/92.6 for each game missed.

Meanwhile, if a player decides to leave the “bubble,” he must enter a 10-14 day quarantine, will have to take the enhanced “deep nasal swab” test, and will have his pay reduced for any games missed.

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It’s a detailed report, full of interesting little factoids (including how players can have off-campus chefs send in food!), so I encourage you to go and read it in full (subscription to The Athletic required).