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Thunder's return to practice facility unclear as three teams plan to reopen Friday

Three NBA teams plan to reopen their practice facilities Friday. A few others are targeting a return next week. Several more are waiting for stay-at-home orders to be lifted. 

It’s unclear when the Thunder plans to reopen its practice facility. The team provided no update as of 5 p.m. Thursday, instead deferring to what general manager Sam Presti said last week. 

“I wouldn’t say we’re committed to doing that,” Presti said then of reopening Friday. 

Only the Cavaliers, Nuggets and Trail Blazers have publicly planned to open Friday — the first day teams can return to their practice facilities for voluntary workouts. All team facilities have been closed since March 20 due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The NBA sent teams a 14-page memo on how to protect players and staff members upon returning, according to USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt.

Among the safety requirements: No more than four players will be allowed in the practice facility at the same time. One staff member can be present, but not the head coach or a first-row assistant coach. A physical distance of 12 feet must be maintained. Temperatures must be taken for anyone who enters the facility. 

“We’re going to continue to speak to our players about that whole entire concept of coming back,” Presti said last week. “But the league has given some flexibility to the teams to determine what is best for them. And for us, we’re operating under the assumption that the league wouldn’t be permitting players and staff members back into facilities unless they felt it was absolutely safe.” 

Related Photos
Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) and Abdel Nader (11) walk off the court during a timeout in  an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 3, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) and Abdel Nader (11) walk off the court during a timeout in an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 3, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The...

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7d9bc1824e50b3430e04671c6f067f8d.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) and Abdel Nader (11) walk off the court during a timeout in an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 3, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) and Abdel Nader (11) walk off the court during a timeout in an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 3, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Steven Adams (12), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) and Abdel Nader (11) walk off the court during a timeout in an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 3, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure>
Joe Mussatto

Joe Mussatto joined The Oklahoman in August 2018 to cover OU football, men’s basketball and softball. He previously covered University of Kentucky football and basketball for SEC Country. Mussatto is from Oklahoma City and lives in Norman. Read more ›

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