Aussies may sit out as NBA closes in on return host
Ben Simmons, Patty Mills and Thon Maker could be heading to Disney World, although Joe Ingles and Matthew Dellavedova may not return to the NBA court.
Orlando's Walt Disney World Resort has emerged as the clear frontrunner to host the league if the season resumes.
The COVID-19 pandemic shut the NBA down on March 11.
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The Athletic is reporting NBA teams could be fully training in mid-June and playing games in Orlando by mid-July.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had floated the possibility of dual sites - Orlando and Las Vegas - where teams could play in a "bubble" in an attempt to protect players, team staff and officials from the virus.
Orlando, spurred on by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who last week called on "all professional sports" to practice and play in his state, is now favourite to be the sole site.
"What I would tell commissioners of leagues is: 'If you have a team in an area where they just won't let them operate, we'll find a place for you here in the state of Florida'," DeSantis said.
If the NBA season is played out in Orlando it will likely be without spectators and under strict protocols and testing.
Ingles, a key member of the Utah Jazz who sit in fourth place in the Western Conference, has said he is prepared to "walk away, fly to Australia and never play another game in my life and be very content with it" to protect his family from the virus.
His wife, Australian netball great Renae Ingles, is expecting their third child and four-year-old son Jacob has autism and a weakened immune system.
Ingles said last week he hasn't worked out at the Jazz's practice facility despite it opening up to players with strict guidelines. He has a gym and hoop at his home for workouts.
Ingles will take a wait-and-see approach to playing games if the season does start.
"It's not worth it," Ingles, discussing practice at the Jazz facility, told Utah radio station 1280 The Zone last week.
"I have a gym, I have everything I can do.
"As for basketball, it's a bit more difficult, but I think that as we go ahead and find out more information about it, it will be easier to make a decision.
"But I am in no way willing to risk my children, and Renae, and everything else, to go play basketball."
Matthew Dellavedova's Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Larry Nance Jr raised doubts about whether the tough Australian guard will play.
Dellavedova and wife Anna welcomed son Anders into the world last November.
"If I were him, no I'm not subjecting myself to that, because then I can bring it home to my family," Nance Jr said.
Silver is open to either playing out the regular season or heading straight into the playoffs.
There is also the possibility teams outside the top eight receive an opportunity to compete for a playoff spot.
Ingles' Jazz and Simmons' Philadelphia 76ers (sixth place in the Eastern Conference) would be eligible.
In the Eastern Conference the Cavs are last and Maker's Detroit Pistons are third last.
In the Western Conference Mills' San Antonio Spurs are 12th and five wins behind the eighth-placed Memphis Grizzlies.
Aron Baynes' Phoenix Suns are one win behind the Spurs in 13th.
Originally published as Aussies may sit out as NBA closes in on return host