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Report: Timberwolves among first teams to participate in antibody study

The League and its players are backing a Mayo Clinic study to better understand the coronavirus.

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders talks with guard D’Angelo Russell and forward James Johnson during the second quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at Target Center.  Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA and its players are backing a Mayo Clinic study that will help them better understand the coronavirus, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Saturday. The antibody study will draw blood to get a better sense of the prevalence in players and staff among teams. The Timberwolves are expected to be among the first teams to partake in the study, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic followed up with in his report.

The NBA already has a handful of teams opening practice facilities for voluntary workouts. It’s expected that a decision on a return to play will come in the next 2-4 weeks, first reported by Shams. With that timeline in mind and the fact the League and commissioner Adam Silver have preached safety overall, it’s clear the NBA wants to come back. The players had a summit of top players — LeBron James, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis were all in attendance.

The Rockets recently announced they are returning players to practice for workouts on Monday and 22 of 30 teams are expected to be back at facilities by next week. With most teams getting workouts in, the League needs to focus on locations for games and how that will work. To limit travel, specific locations have been thrown around for games and to house teams and staff. Disney World and Las Vegas are two rumored locations. It’s a huge operation, so chances are it could take a bit for a decision to be made.