NBA Has Some Serious Salary Questions

The National Basketball Association was the first professional sports league to suspend play due to the coronavirus. The announcement came after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the disease, and several players have since tested positive.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that the season would be suspended indefinitely, but there was hope that the league could resume play in just 30 days. It now appears that this could drag out much longer than anticipated, and the league is now facing some very difficult decisions.

The biggest question surrounds the payment of players, and it appears that the league has finally come up with an answer. The league sent a memo to all teams last Friday, announcing that all players would receive their full salary payment on April 1.

The memo also stated that there is a chance that the league could forego the next payment that is scheduled on April 15. If NBA games aren’t played on or before that date, then players could be losing out on a large chunk of their money that they are due.

Losing Income

NBA teams and the NBA itself will lose plenty of money if games aren’t able to be played soon, and there is a provision that allows them to withhold salary from players. The force majeure provision is a part of the collective bargaining agreement, and the league could use this provision as a way to recoup some money.

The majeure provision allows for the NBA to withhold 1/92.6 of a player’s salary for every game that is canceled. This provision can only be enacted due to catastrophic circumstances, and the coronavirus pandemic would fall under that category.

The league has yet to decide what they want to do, but Silver is currently meeting with top league officials and leaders from teams around the league. Another memo will be sent out to teams at some point in early April to let the players know which direction the league is taking.

Each NBA player can choose between two different payment plans. The first payment plan pays players throughout the calendar year, while the other only pays players during the NBA season. Those payments start in November and conclude after the NBA Finals.

For players that are paid throughout the calendar year, they will have only received about 60 percent of their total salary after the April 1 payment. Players who choose to receive their salary in much bigger increments will have received about 90 percent of their salary.

There is a chance that the NBA players will end up receiving the full 100% of their guaranteed salary. The league is still hoping to make up the postponed games to keep the season as normal as possible. NBA teams are also hoping to play the games to bring in revenue.

There are more than a dozen NBA players who are currently dealing with the coronavirus, although the majority of them are not showing any symptoms.

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