Although all the energies are put into the league returning and completing it at some point, either behind closed doors, with a shortened schedule or in a city, the truth is that the NBA is also working on a possible scenario where it should consider the 2019-20 period to be canceled or ended and it cannot be completed regularly.
Among the many complications that this would have, the economic factor is one of the most important when making decisions. With the suspension of the season, the league should lose a lot of money that they should give back to the television stations, while the teams would have less cash to pay the players, who in turn should charge less for not being able to play all the games.
ESPN Sources: The NBA and NBPA are discussing scenarios for withholding up to 25 percent of players remaining salaries in a league escrow should regular-season games eventually be canceled. Story: https://t.co/KlGLY85nMp
– Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 1, 2020
Under the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, players would lose approximately 1% of their wages per game canceled due to Force Majeure, a category that includes catastrophic events such as epidemics and pandemics. Once the league cancels games, this force majeure clause is automatically activated and players would lose that money.
Taking into account that there were between 15 and 20 regular season matches per team, not including prizes, advance bonuses and so on, it is calculated that the losses for the players would be 25% of the wages owed. In this scenario, the idea of resuming the league as it may may be for many players that not making as much money is a very tempting idea.