The NBA hasn’t even been suspended for a week, yet its most important powerbrokers have been working overtime in attempting to manage the unprecedented situation that the league now finds itself in. For the third time in less than a week, the NBA’s Board of Governors will meet via conference call to discuss the fallout of the current coronavirus pandemic, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
What exactly they will discuss remains unknown, though commissioner Adam Silver has reportedly encouraged all those around the league to be creative in finding solutions for the myriad problems facing the NBA as it faces its first-ever in-season stoppage. Among likely points of discussion: whether a summer return is possible, what sort of arrangements need to be made to propel such a decision, and how much money the league stands to lose in the stoppage in the first place.
The latter is likely to be substantial, and impact every move teams make this offseason. The salary cap, for example, is tied to league revenue. With no games to sell to fans or advertisers, that revenue is going to plummet, and with it, the 2020-21 cap. That is what makes finding a solution for the former so critical. If the league can possibly find a way to stop the bleeding and make up some of the money it just lost, it will help keep the NBA’s general finances in order moving forward.
But a return to basketball would still be a ways off, if it is even possible. Wojnarowski reported Sunday that mid-June is currently viewed as the best-case scenario for a return right now, and that involves the pandemic slowing by then. If not? There is a very real chance that this season ends without a champion being crowned.