NBA

Detailing What’s Ahead for the NBA’s Resumption

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Later this month, NBA basketball will finally return. A few weeks ago, the league released details for health and safety protocols in Orlando. How will all of this work though and what are some major concerns from teams?

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Tim Bontemps have been hard at work breaking down and explaining the NBA’s 100+ page health and safety protocols. Some of the major questions were:

  • What if a player tests positive for the novel coronavirus?
  • What are the teams’ responses to these initiatives?
  • How will the games be played to ensure the maximum safety of the players?

There were a large number of questions answered by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Player Association (NBPA) following their decision to restart the season on June 5th.

Schedule Outlook

The NBA has released a schedule of full training camps:

  • June 15: The players who are traveling outside of the United States will be returning to team markets;
  • June 22: All other players will be returning to the team markets;
  • June 23: Voluntary workouts are beginning with head coaches;
  • July 7: Teams are beginning their arrival to Florida;
  • July 9 to 29: Training camps in Florida begin. Each team gets three scrimmages;
  • July 30: The beginning of seeding games (8 per team);
  • August 17: Beginning of playoffs;
  • August 30: Family and guests of the teams will begin arriving;
  • September 30: NBA Finals date

The overall system will consist of 14 teams being eliminated within the first 53 days of the arrival. The plan is for only four teams to remain after 67 days. The NBA has been very clear on their determination to cut the actual time commitment for Orlando, Florida playoffs. The timetables constructed into the league’s revised schedule has been a clear proof of this. This is why the camps begin on the 9th of July where the teams will quarantine themselves to make sure that no accidental infection spreads between the different groups. This is also why the eliminated teams will be leaving as soon as possible to make sure that fewer people are concentrated on the same spot.

Toronto Raptors’ guard Fred VanVleet has been quite vocal about his concerns and has stated multiple times that he has thought about the financial impact of COVID-19. Considering the fact that he was having one of the most successful seasons of his career and expected to strike it rich with extremely lucrative new deals this summer, which were almost all postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus. He was the go-to person for lots of betting websites. VanVleet’s motto “Bet on Yourself” has become a point of interest for casinos. Some have added Canada casino bonuses to people betting on his success. Although, Fred is still concerned with coronavirus situation and has come out stating:

“People’s health and well being and frame of mind is a lot more important than a couple million here or there, because we’re all filthy rich compared to what we came from in the first place, so I don’t think anybody’s crying over it,”

Adding:

“I just think that it sucks when you do start to think about what woulda happened, shoulda happened, so try to stay away from that as much as possible.”

Overall, the players have been very accepting of the fact that the playoffs will be held in a more isolated manner, including no visitors until the first round of the playoffs, almost seven weeks after the opening of training camp. However, there have been a number of concerns in regards to players not being able to leave the Disney World Resort campus. The players will be restricted from leaving the grounds for 10 days during the quarantine period.

Eliminated Teams

What will happen to the eliminated teams? The NBA and the union have not come to a conclusion about this aspect yet. However, the discussions are ongoing and the details of an offseason program of camps as well as possible scrimmages for the eight teams which will be left out of the restart. Executives are in constant contact with each other and the league concerning these details and we are likely to hear some news soon.

League Finances

Commissioner Adam Silver previously stated that 40% of the league revenue comes from the game nights in arenas. The lack of this revenue will result in a significant decline in the projected $115 million salary cap and a $139 million luxury tax for 2020-2021. In the normal environment, the initial cap would be $8 billion. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has already been decreased by $1 billion. Some players are also seeing as much as 25% of their salaries withheld for this season to the account for the loss of revenue. If the final restart outcome will even out the additional pay cuts and the withheld salary, the money will potentially be returned to the teams. This means that the players and the league will have to make some serious adjustments to the CBA and how the business of basketball is going go moving forward.

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