NBA on hold: What’s next for the Philadelphia 76ers amid COVID-19 outbreak?

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

The 2019-20 NBA season is on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Philadelphia 76ers were not ground zero for the NBA’s coronavirus outbreak, but they will nonetheless suffer the same fate as all 30 teams. The NBA has postponed its regular season and will use the hiatus to determine its next steps, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

This is a serious issue. The World Health Organization has defined the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic, and cases continue to spread in America. It was only a matter of time until the NBA took action. In fact, even a complete cancellation or postponement felt inevitable.

As Woj reported, the next steps remain unclear. The NBA has not developed a concrete plan yet, and it may take a day or two for things to become clearer. There is still a lot unknown about the virus, which adds a layer of unpredictability to the issue.

So, when posed with the simple question of what’s next, the answer is equally simple — no one knows. Mavs owner Mark Cuban said games could resume and extend as far as August. It seems likely the season will resume at some point, it’s simply a matter of when and at what stage.

In purely basketball terms, this does give the Sixers time to regroup and, ideally, get healthy. Ben Simmons is set to be re-evaluated in three weeks for a nerve impingement in his back. This could mean he spends fewer games out of the rotation.

At this point, however, Simmons’ injury timeline is a secondary concern. The Sixers need to take the proper precautions and avoid contamination to the best degree possible. This is a time for the franchise and the NBA to observe the next few weeks, analyze the trajectory of the virus, and recalibrate. It’s useless to dwell on basketball.

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For more information about the coronavirus, refer to the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control. Wash your hands and stay safe.