NBA engaged in conversations for a late-July return at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Ethan Cadeaux
NBC Sports Washington

The NBA appears to be on the path to a return.

The league is in significant talks with the Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 season in late July, with Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando as the lone site to resume the games.

News first reported that Orlando emerged as the clear frontrunner on Wednesday, and NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass confirmed such in a league statement.

"The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing," Bass said.

"Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place," the statement concluded.

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The league was also considering both Las Vegas and Houston as potential sites to resume action, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. However, the NBA is reported to prefer the Orlando location due to it's closed campus and ample hotel options. Commissioner Adam Silver has said he doesn't believe the NBA will need to have a closed-off, "bubble-like" environment at the resort when teams do return.

Earlier this week, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the NBA was expected to release guidelines near June 1 for how its teams can recall out-of-market players to return. Wojnarowski called this the "first step toward a formal ramp-up for the season's resumption."

The NBA season has been paused since March 11 when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.

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NBA engaged in conversations for a late-July return at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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