The transaction window for the NBA’s plan to restart the season in Orlando has officially closed, and any verbal agreements made between teams and players can now become official. All 30 NBA teams, and not just the 22 heading to Orlando, were allowed to sign free agents from June 23 to July 1. They could do so if they had vacant roster spots due to players opting out of playing for the remainder of the season. While eight teams are home for the summer, the league’s 22 remaining franchises will relocate inside a Disney bubble, and play eight regular-season “seeding” games before proceeding to the playoffs.
Now that the transaction window is closed, we can get a clearer picture of who these teams will be bringing to Orlando with them. We’ll also know what happens if more players get sick in a bubbled outbreak of COVID-19. Here are the answers to those questions and more, starting with moves that took place during the transaction window.
Transaction window signings How many players can teams bring to Orlando?
Teams are permitted to bring 17 total players to Orlando — up to 15 players on standard contracts and two additional two-way players. Playoff rosters will also consist of 17 players: 13 active and four inactive.
Are players required to go to Orlando?
No. Between the coronavirus, concerns about the quarantine situation and the desire to continue fighting for social justice, there are all sorts of valid reasons for players to be wary about going to Orlando. Ahead of the departure date, teams are sending questionnaires to players and coaches to determine whether they are healthy enough to make the trip.
If a team decides a player is high-risk from a health perspective, they may be excused from Orlando and will still receive their full salary. Any other player is free to opt-out of playing, and will not be in breach of their contract. However, if they voluntarily decide not to play, they will not be paid for those missed games.
What happens if a player tests positive for COVID-19?
Any player who tests positive will be required to quarantine for a minimum of seven days, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. According to multiple sources, any player who contracts the coronavirus or gets injured can be replaced, but the replaced player will not be eligible to return to the Orlando bubble.
The NBA protocol for a positive coronavirus test result is as follows, according to Charania:
Enter immediate isolation/separate location — “Isolation Housing”Retest to confirm positiveExit isolation after consecutive negative tests and return to activities
However, the occurrence of a small or otherwise expected number of COVID-19 cases will not require a decision to suspend or cancel the resumption of the 2019-20 season, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Will teams be permitted to sign replacement players?
Yes. The league had set its “transaction window,” in which teams were permitted to sign replacement players, from June 23 at 12 p.m. ET until June 30 at 11:59 p.m. ET. It featured all 30 teams, not just the 22 that will be competing in Orlando. Teams were able to sign eligible free agents, convert two-way players into full NBA contracts and waive players during the given time frame.
Who are the best available free agents?
Below is the list of remaining unsigned free agents who didn’t get added during the transaction window:
One thing that is interesting to consider is if key players opt out of Disney, the free agents who are currently available might have to play real postseason minutes for teams they weren’t even a part of before this.
Which players have opted out of playing in Orlando? DeAndre Jordan, Brooklyn Nets (COVID-19)Avery Bradley, Los Angeles Lakers (sitting out)Davis Bertans, Washington Wizards (sitting out) Trevor Ariza, Portland Trail Blazers (sitting out) Willie Cauley-Stein, Dallas Mavericks (sitting out) Wilson Chandler, Brooklyn Nets (sitting out) Zhaire Smith, Philadelphia 76ers (injured)