The NBA gave teams an edict on Thursday that players will receive their full paychecks on April 15 as scheduled.
The league plans to consider all options to resume the season. However, the financial realities of the situation demand action. The talks between the NBA, the National Basketball Players Association and player agents are surrounding potential cancellation of the season.
The players’ union and owners discussed holding a portion of checks starting on April 15 in an escrow account. They are preparing for the anticipated loss in revenue.
However, that payment will proceed in full for the players.
The pandemic will lead to the delay of at least 259 regular-season games through April 15. That would have been the end of the regular season.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said no decisions about the rest of the season would occur before May.
The next time the league is scheduled to pay the players is on May 1. The union did not see April 15 as a hard deadline preferring to wait and see how things play out. However, over time the need for a resolution will increase.
The league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement includes a force majeure clause. This enables owners to cancel games and recover salaries due to events like a pandemic. However, this clause also gives the league a 60-day window where it can tear up the CBA entirely.
This would be the start of a potential work stoppage.
In the last CBA agreement between owners and players, it calls for splitting revenue 50/50 and also splitting the coming losses. Owners might hold back a percentage of players’ paychecks going forward.
This would give them additional funds that they can use now during the crisis especially if the remainder of the season is canceled.