Marc Lasry, co-founder and CEO of Avenue Capital Group.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry told CNBC on Thursday he believes the National Basketball Association is getting “a lot closer” to a return after a more than two-month pause due to Covid-19.
“I think we’ll have something, hopefully within the next 6 to 8 weeks, we should be playing,” he said on “Halftime Report.”
The billionaire co-founder of Avenue Capital said he thinks games will be held in two locations, suggesting Las Vegas and Orlando. He added the NBA has a board of governors call next Friday, “and I’m sure we’ll be talking about it then.”
Lasry suggested the NBA would resume games with Western Conference teams playing in Las Vegas and “have the East [Eastern Conference] on the Orlando side.”
An ESPN report surfaced on Wednesday suggesting clubs are anticipating the league office will soon roll out guidelines to return. The report said the NBA would attempt to resume games in July.
Asked about the report during an interview with CNBC, Houston Rockets star James Harden said there have been “multiple conversations” between the league and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). However, he added, “there are so many things that have to be figured out. But the sooner, the better.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver mentioned the idea of resuming games in a “bubble” environment on his media call with reporters on April 17.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Jared Dudley told local reporters on Wednesday that based on his conversations with leaders on the NBA’s return, the “bubble” environment for teams would still allow players to leave playing sites, though there will be constant testing.
If the NBA does finish its season, Lasry predicts his Bucks, which have the best record in the league at 53-12, will win the title. He also said there will likely be criticism of the eventual champion given the nature of the shortened season.
“Everybody is going to talk about, ‘Well, it was difficult,’ ” he said. “It was different. It was without fans. Yeah, but then you’re still an NBA champion. You’re still the champion.
“I think the ratings will be through the roof. Everybody is going to want to see it,” Lasry added. “So, will it be different? Yes, but you’re still going to feel great.”
CNBC’s Kevin Stankiewicz contributed to this article.