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No ideal solution in place to restart NBA season

Adam Silver recently held a call with NBA players and wasn't particularly optimistic about a return to normalcy any time soon.

When the NBA shut down their season indefinitely on March 11th, there was some hope that the delay would only be temporary.  We are now two months in and a decision to re-open looks no closer as the NBA is sifting through many "bad options" according to reports from a recent call NBA commissioner Adam Silver held with players on Friday.

The Athletic and ESPN attained audio of the call with the Commissioner, who stated that no decision on the season would likely come until June.  He also stated that if the season were to resume it would likely take place in one or two locations, with Las Vegas and Orlando mentioned as the most likely scenarios (those are the two cities in which the NBA holds their annual summer league tournaments).  There would also be a "minimum" 3 week training camp period to allow teams to get back into shape before actual games started back up.  Silver also mentioned the possibility of play-in tournaments for teams that were on the cusp. That would likely mean a team like the Sacramento Kings might still have a chance of participating.

The impact of this virus and shutdown will also likely be felt until next season.  Shams Charania of the Athletic reports that a Christmas Day start to the 2020-21 season is gaining momentum, meaning we would likely see a reduced season next year as well.  The financial impact of a lost season and a reduced season next year would have big implications for the league and players and would likely involved a significant reduction of the salary cap.

Safety is the number one priority right now.  Any plan to reopen requires the NBA to have sufficient testing and protocols in play, and the NBA doesn't want to have special treatment that other Americans don't. Until testing becomes widespread and available, action is unlikely to resume.

 

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Kosta
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May 9, 2020 12:45 pm

Either fans attend in person with these on:
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Or fans attend virtually, with these on:
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Hozr
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May 11, 2020 10:38 am
Reply to  Kosta

Or you could use these to enforce social distancing.comment image
And here’s another alternativecomment image

King4life
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May 9, 2020 2:01 pm

Curious to see what the cap looks like the next few years and whether some of the contracts signed start to look extra bad on teams cap sheets.

austinracer999
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May 9, 2020 2:21 pm

Would love to see an “on the bubble” tournament.

Kfan
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May 9, 2020 3:18 pm
Reply to  austinracer999

Yeah. I like the idea of pretty much any kind of play in tournament. Maybe single elimination with all 30 teams building into 3-5-7 game series’ as the rounds progress.

Otis
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May 9, 2020 5:09 pm
Reply to  Kfan

The more I think about it, the less I see any real competition happening prior to a vaccine. As long as the plan is to quarantine those that test positive, and anyone who was in contact with that person, the likelihood of entire teams (and the teams they played against recently) being shelved for two weeks is very real.

Unless they try to do the extended isolation thing in one city, which has a ton of hurdles.

Kfan
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May 10, 2020 5:58 pm
Reply to  Otis

Probably. I think the only possibility would be putting the whole league and broadcast crews in Disney World. Test on entering and Quarantine for 14 days. Then do a 7-day training camp followed by the tournament. Mean isolating all those people for like 2 months. But with the lack of sports and income for the league and the players, they might go for something like that.

Nemanja_Business
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May 10, 2020 8:48 pm
Reply to  Otis

Vaccines are so rare for viruses like this. If we get one great. But in all liklihood Herd immunity is the answer. We can’t all put our lives on hold forever. We all take calculated risks everyday. If you’re young vibrant and healthy the negative impacts of this thing are almost nothing. If you’re in the at-risk demographics then take extra precautions. Holding out hope for a vaccine en lieu of getting us on with our lives is naive. These athletes have next to nothing to worry about other than being coupled up in their room with a fever and cough as a worst case scenario for a few days, these guys are in prime health and most don’t even exhibit symptoms.

Otis
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May 10, 2020 9:15 pm

Your risks are putting others in jeopardy here – that’s the difference. I’m shocked this still needs to be pointed out

Herd immunity is great, if you can get there without killing a few million of your citizenry.

EnglishKing
May 11, 2020 8:23 am

I think its also fair to be concerned about the long-term unknown health impact of infection. Herd Immunity is fine if we know that 10-15 years down the line, those currently in an “unaffected” age group will experience no long term complications.

ArsLegendi
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May 11, 2020 10:04 am

The families of multiple “young vibrant and healthy” people who died of sudden strokes or now require lifelong dialysis would likely disagree with you.

Also, herd immunity without a vaccine and/or a clinically effective treatment plan means millions of dead people. I’m not willing to take that argument seriously from anyone who doesn’t also name the friends and family they are cool with losing.

SMF-PDXConnection
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May 11, 2020 5:42 pm
Reply to  ArsLegendi

This is what they came up with here in Oregon, pretty much runs on every channel I’ve seen.

You decide how many people live or die. Stay home. Save lives. #oregon #portland #covid-19 #coronavirus #health pic.twitter.com/8dxDdw7crc

— Stay Home Save Lives Oregon (@StayOregon) April 3, 2020

Hozr
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May 11, 2020 10:41 am
Reply to  Otis

Well, it would make for a very quick playoff series. The last team to not be quarantined wins!

BestHyperboleEver
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May 10, 2020 8:26 am
Reply to  Kfan

I mean, that would be fun. Just like the NCAAs. But it pretty much makes the 60+ games they already played completely pointless.

Kfan
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May 10, 2020 5:53 pm

Seeding. Maybe the top two teams get a first round bye. The remaining 28 teams are seeded by record and play a one game or 3 game, time allowing, round one. Gives you your 8 teams in each conference to move on.

Another thought. Top three seeds in each conference get a bye. Leaves 12 teams to fill 5 spots in each conf. Bottom 4 are seeded and play, then the 10 teams play a single game or 3 game series to provide the 5 spots to fill each conference.

RikSmits
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May 9, 2020 11:37 pm

Off topic: two minor requests/suggestions to have at the bottom of the comments:
– an opportunity to leave a reply (just like at the top); and
– a link to the TKH homepage.

ZillersCat
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May 10, 2020 9:13 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Riffing on the tangent. If there could be a search insite ability, that could be useful.

Hozr
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May 11, 2020 1:21 pm
Reply to  ZillersCat

It would be really cool if the poor bastar… err, the website developer could do a short, say weekly, update on what’s happening with the website, what’s new, what’s upcoming, etc… It would be a cool peek behind the curtain for those of us who have a morbid curiosity about such things.

BestHyperboleEver
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May 10, 2020 7:35 am

Sadly, they could very well do a play-in and the Kings may not be included. Much of the talk seems to be of a 4-team between the current 7th through 10th place teams. Right now, unless I’m mistaken, the Kings would be 11th.

ForKingsandCountry
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May 10, 2020 8:40 am

They have the same record as the Pelicans and a percentage point (though with one less loss) behind Portland. I highly doubt in a situation where 3 teams are ostensibly tied, they’d leave one out. But I’m not sure it matters because I don’t think they’re going to play regular season games anyway.

BestHyperboleEver
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May 10, 2020 9:43 am

Why not? They do it every other year if teams have the same record (like the Kings and Pelicans do. The Blazers have a better record, so they aren’t really in question.). The tie-breakers go against the Kings. Now, personally, if you’re going to do a 4 team play-in then using places 8-11 playing for one spot makes more sense to me. At least then you’re only screwing over 1 team per conference that has earned a playoff spot thus far, instead of screwing over 2 (or more if you do a larger play-in.).

SMF-PDXConnection
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May 10, 2020 8:52 am

I know we all love basketball, but even if the NBA did figure out some plan to finish this season or have a reduced season next year, do we really want that? There are massive human costs involved with huge risks. You’d basically be looking at uprooting all the players, the coaches, support staff, and their families and having them travel to Orlando/Vegas/wherever and hole them up in hotels for an extended period of time. Realistically, the whole thing comes undone if even one person tests positive because then you have to trace everyone they had contact with on/off the court. Plus, it’s not like you can play basketball with social distancing; are the players going to be out there in N95s and goggles?

I miss basketball. I’d really like to be watching playoff basketball right now. Unfortunately, though, I think it’s best from a health perspective and from a simple human perspective to just table things until there’s a vaccine (if there is one and you can actually convince certain segments of the population to get it) or there’s an effective preventative or curative pharmaceutical regimen. I don’t feel morally or ethically comfortable putting those thousand or so people in the path of this virus so we all have something to watch.

G-naps
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May 10, 2020 12:18 pm

The one thing a lot of fans don’t take into consideration is the players union….regardless of the sport. The players unions for each professional sports are some of if not the most powerful unions. There will need to be 100% buy in at the players level for there to be games played.

TheFifthMookie
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May 10, 2020 2:02 pm
Reply to  G-naps

All three of the NBA, Owners, and Players have millions of reasons ($$$$$$$$) to play again asap. The kind of income losses the players would see if the season is cancelled are pretty large.

BestHyperboleEver
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May 10, 2020 2:14 pm
Reply to  TheFifthMookie

Yeah, honestly, the only real argument I see for doing something like a play-in tourney is in trying to recoup some of that lost money.

Otis
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May 10, 2020 2:56 pm
Reply to  TheFifthMookie

There’s a huge financial incentive to play, and a huge financial incentive not to play.

How does a league look if, God forbid, one of their players dies from the disease?

richie88
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May 10, 2020 3:37 pm
Reply to  Otis

I think it’s pretty unlikely a player would die, but it’d obviously be bad if a player died. Idk about other leagues, but I’ve read that the NBA’s leaning towards excluding asst. coaches, FO members & other personnel that are considered at risk due to age or preexisting conditions.

TheFifthMookie
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May 10, 2020 3:51 pm
Reply to  Otis

I’m actually planning to play this card when my company wants me to come back into the office before a widespread vaccine/treatment is available.

But I’m not getting paid in the millions with a limited window to make millions, so my perspective is probably different.

at a larger meta – I don’t think the USA has determined/decided that if an employer ‘makes’ it’s employees work (like the underpaid ‘essential’ workers out there right now for example), and the employee catches COVID, is that something the employee can sue the employer over? My understanding is the Senate is considering an exclusion of liability to companies on that front, but it hasn’t gone anywhere yet.

edit: how do I put paragraph breaks in? an extra empty line isn’t cutting it today.

Edit-edit: ah it’s compressed in the preview, but shows when you click “more” – also, hitting “l” is moving to another comment while I write this 50% of the time. weird.

BestHyperboleEver
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May 10, 2020 4:12 pm
Reply to  Otis

Yeah, my comment is based on a situation where they’ve already decided to resume playing and they’re just deciding whether there’s going to be any regular season, a play-in tourney, or just go straight to playoffs.

richie88
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May 10, 2020 2:27 pm

I’m fine either way, but I think there’s so much $ involved that I think that leagues will start playing before there’s a vaccine. The lack of available tests may wipe out this season for the NBA (& the NHL), but I’m guessing there’ll eventually be enough tests that they play at least part of next season before there’s a vaccine. However, I don’t think they’ll play in front of fans until there’s a vaccine.

Otis
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May 10, 2020 2:54 pm
Reply to  richie88

So when a player contracts the virus (and someone will), do they only quarantine that player?

richie88
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May 10, 2020 3:38 pm
Reply to  Otis

That seems like the biggest question that’s preventing leagues from (re)starting their seasons. It sounds like that’s an unanswered question for leagues right now.

richie88
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May 11, 2020 12:29 am
Reply to  richie88

I saw this, which may answer what the NBA’s preferred approach is:

Otis
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May 11, 2020 5:33 am
Reply to  richie88

Sounds like fantasy island to me. But I get why they are planning – hard to completely pull the plug on your business.

ArsLegendi
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May 11, 2020 10:54 am
Reply to  richie88

Daily testing can’t happen for athletes until on-demand testing and tracing can happen for everyone. The optics are untenable, otherwise.

Nemanja_Business
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May 10, 2020 8:52 pm
Reply to  Otis

What happens when a player gets the flu or pneumonia any other year?

Otis
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May 10, 2020 9:13 pm

That player sits out for a while. Now, back to the current discussion.

Hozr
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May 11, 2020 1:27 pm
Reply to  Otis

Yeah, they can have a penalty like hockey!

Hozr
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May 11, 2020 4:58 pm
Reply to  Hozr

… a penalty BOX…
I wish my damn fingers would just type what I meant to say.

RobHessing
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May 11, 2020 8:47 am

Are we talking about a Kings player? Out for the season.comment image

ArsLegendi
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May 11, 2020 10:07 am

He goes to an Italian hospital.

TheFifthMookie
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May 11, 2020 10:19 am
Reply to  ArsLegendi

bwahahahaha – italian hospital

BestHyperboleEver
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May 12, 2020 1:10 pm

Okay, this is a random place to put something like this, but I couldn’t decide on an active thread that would make more sense. In the past it would have been a FanPost. But here is a silly exercise I decided to throw together. My task? To completely turn over the roster while trying to make the team a playoff contender now and decently well set up for the future. I wanted to be realistic in both trade returns and trade partner needs. For draft picks, I used this mock draft for reference on who may be available (https://theathletic.com/1684759/2020/03/19/vecenie-2020-nba-mock-draft-version-4-0-frozen-in-time/). So, here you go:

Blow it up

Fox for Robinson, Ntilikina, 2020 LAC 1st, 2021 NYK 1st

Hield for Claxton/Prince/2020 PHI 1st

Barnes/Bjelica/Holmes for Horford, Milton, Micic

Bogdanovich (S&T), Joseph, #12 for Holiday, NAW

Bagley for Anderson, UTH 1st (2021 7-14, 2022 7-30, 2023 4-30, 2024 2-30)

2020 Picks:

#20 – Kira Lewis Jr.

#27 – Pokusevski (stash, send daily shipments of protein powder and strength bands.)

#34 – Killian Tillie

#35 – N’Doye

#43 – Riller or Flynn (2-way)

#53 – Maker (2-way)

FA signings:

Juancho Hernangomez

Kyle O’Quinn

Holiday/Micic/Lewis Jr.
Milton/Ntilikina/NAW
Prince/Anderson/N’Doye
Horford/Hernangomez/Claxton
Robinson/O’Quinn/Tillie

2-way – Grant Riller/Malachi Flynn, Makur Maker.

Euro rights – Pokusevski

2021 1st round picks: Own, Knicks, UTH (Most likely to convey in 2022)

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