A shortened NBA season that changes the league calendar and could stretch into September. Next season starting later and potentially seeing other changes. How much of a mini-training camp runway players will need before this season restarts? Will the playoffs be condensed? Will all the games be played in one location or spread out in teams’ arenas or practice facilities?
And that doesn’t even touch on the idea of taking back some of the players’ salaries.
Whatever form the rest of the season and playoffs take, the NBA is going to need to do it in partnership with the NBA players union. That means some negotiations between the sides. They are going to have to open up the Collective Bargaining Agreement and make tweaks.
That opens up a lot of possibilities.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and union executive director are talking nearly daily now, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on air Thursday on SportsCenter. He added that both sides remain committed to playing some of the season and crowning a champion through the playoffs, the only question is what format all of that takes.
Once the CBA gets opened up in talks, just about anything can be back on the table.
Briain Windhorst of ESPN put it this way on the Hoop Collective Podcast (hat tip Real GM).
“I believe we are heading for a bargaining session over the summer. The CBA, which was locked in for years, something like seven or eight years, I believe firmly is going to reopen over the summer. There are going to be certain things that can be negotiated. For example, if they’re already opening the CBA about how to retrofit the NBA calendar or change the salary cap stuff, maybe they put one-and-done in there while they’re doing it. There’s going to be negotiations and horse trading. That is why the relationship between players and owners is something to watch right now. They’re going to have to get an agreement to start playing again. They’re going to be outside their parameters that they’ve agreed to.”
The sides are cooperating and a deal will get done. But there is going to need to be a deal, which will involve union president Chris Paul and other power brokers being in on it. Both the owners and players will need to make some concessions and will push for the things they want.
There may well be NBA basketball again in a few months, but there are a lot of hoops to jump through to get there.