The NBA is reopening team practice facilities beginning on Friday for players in states and municipalities that are loosening stay-at-home restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, sources told ESPN.
Players can return to team facilities in states such as Georgia for voluntary individual workouts as soon as next week, which allows for NBA organizations to start allowing players to return to training in a professional, safe environment.
Teams will remain prohibited from holding group workouts or organized team activities, sources said.
In markets in which more restrictive governance of stay-at-home orders remain in place, the NBA is telling teams the league will work with franchises to help find alternative arrangements for their players, sources said.
The NBA's decision to reopen facilities based on the loosening of local governmental policies isn't reflective of a new timetable for a resumption of play this season, sources said. Commissioner Adam Silver and owners still believe they need more time for a clearer picture on whether, when or how they could possibly resume the season, sources said.
Many team executives have been clamoring for the chance to get players back into their facilities, which they believe to be among the safest possible environments around the pandemic. On a conference call with general managers and Silver on Thursday, some GMs said they had players asking about the possibility of traveling to Atlanta to work out in fitness centers with gymnasiums, an idea that concerned many team executives, sources said.
"If our players can travel and play at a 24-Hour Fitness in Atlanta, they should be able to have access to our facilities," one GM told ESPN on Saturday.
Upon learning of the league's decision to allow for some facilities to reopen starting as soon as Friday, some GMs expressed concern to ESPN about the safety of the idea -- especially given expert medical opinions have been against the idea of reopening businesses.
Many players have left the markets in which their teams play during the shutdown, and it's expected that organizations with open facilities could let opposing players living locally use their gym on a limited basis. For example, many teams give permission for players living in Los Angeles, Houston and Miami in the offseason to play pickup at facilities for teams such as the Lakers, Clippers and Rockets.
During an appearance on CNN on Sunday, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he has not yet received guidance from the NBA about the reopening of some team practice facilities but added, "The minute it's safe, we want to try to get back and get the guys practicing and getting ready for games -- but we are not there yet."
With regard to potentially playing games without fans, Cuban said that was something he is "certainly going to push for," adding that he believes the NBA as a whole has a "moral obligation to do it."
Cuban also said that based on his conversations with players, it's clear they are ready for a return to the court, while acknowledging, "Obviously, there will be some things that change.
"Just like when Magic Johnson declared he had HIV, there was some adjustments and guys went through a learning process," Cuban told CNN. "I think our players are ready to play, and of course we will have all the precautions in place. And plus, we will go through a training camp or something similar where we will learn all the adjustments that have to be made."
ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk contributed to this report.