Report: NBA increasingly open to delaying next season — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

At one point, the NBA viewed Labor Day as a potential deadline for completing the current season.

Report: NBA increasingly open to delaying next season — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Adrian Wojnarowski, via ESPN:

They are more willing than ever to delay the start of next season.

And part of that reason is that might give them more time next year to be able to have fans in the building. But, next season, the fear of having to start the year in empty arenas. And if they were going to start in their normal time – mid-, late-October – it’s hard to imagine that there would be fans in the stands.

And so I think as much time as they can buy for themselves, I think the league is willing to do that right now. And they’re trying to look at everything. And this isn’t just “let’s figure out the next couple months and this season.” This is a two-, three-, four-year look moving forward.

Before going on hiatus, the NBA was approaching its most lucrative time of year – the playoffs. It’d be silly to cancel a postseason just to preserve a future regular season.

Especially when it’s unclear whether the next regular season would actually start on time.

More than a month after the hiatus began, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he didn’t know when his league would resume play and wouldn’t know soon. The coronavirus isn’t easily controlled. Another wave could undermine any plans.

But there’s value in finishing the current season. It’d bring satisfying closure and optimize revenue.

A complication of extending the current season through an indefinite delay: Owners could invoke force majeure only if canceling games. But players already agreed to have salary withheld. These issues – including how to handle player contracts when a season lasts longer than a year – are negotiable. Both sides are in it together, sharing nearly equally in revenue.

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