In a conference call with the tournament’s superiors on Monday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver told top team basketball executives that “time is running out” about the possibility of starting the season. awards 2020-21 before Christmas Day and potentially raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, sources told ESPN.
Discussions with the National Basketball Players Association continued over the weekend and into Monday, but the federation’s reluctance to agree began on December 22 and the regular 72-game season already scare the tournament a few days away from a training camp. Sources say around December 1 for a pre-Christmas tip is no longer a practical possibility.
Optimism remains that a deal can be reached before Christmas, the sources said, but it has been curbed in recent days. NBPA CEO Michele Roberts and union leadership spoke directly to the players about starting the season too quickly after finishing mid-October with the Final in Orlando, Florida, the bubble, and so far have expressed a wish to start mid-January next season. The NBA believes between $ 500 million and $ 1billion in revenue losses next season and beyond by not starting the season in December, the sources said.
The NBA has postponed the deadline until Friday leaving the option of terminating the collective bargaining agreement, which would essentially destroy the financial structure of the tournament allowing for a 50-50 split in basketball related income (BRI ) in accordance with the CBA regulations. Sources said that because the coronavirus pandemic caused a force majeure clause in the CBA, both sides have the option of giving 45 days’ notice of the termination of the agreement.
The NBA is looking to increase the inflow of money into teams, and sources say the federation hopes to expand guidance on sports betting, spirits and casinos that could generate $ 80 million to $ 100 million in revenue. la, the sources said.
Negotiations between the NBA and the NBPA continue to include the possibility of a play-in tournament for both the East and West Conference knockout stages, a mechanism designed to encourage more teams to pursue. Competition at the end of the season – and a path for the league, player and TV partners to generate more lucrative revenue streams, the sources said.
The play-in tournament proposal was incorporated around the structure that ESPN first reported gained traction in early 2018: a four-team tournament between seeds 7, 8, 9 and 10 for the last two playoffs in each convention.
The tournament will start with 7th place hosting the number 8, and the winner wins 7th place. Meanwhile, the 9 will face the number 10, with the winner advancing against the loser in Match 7 vs. 8 for seed number 8, sources revealed to ESPN.
That set-up gives the seventh and eighth season finish teams the chance to secure a post-season stop. Teams 9 and 10 will have to win twice – not lose – to take either position.
The NBA launched a version of the play-in tournament as part of a season reboot in Orlando. It includes a ranking trigger; 9th seed must compete within 4 matches against 8th seed in order to qualify for a tournament. The Washington Wizards, who participated in the Orlando reboot at No. 9 in the East Conference, led 1-7 and were unable to trigger the match.
The success of that format led to speculation the NBA would add a ranking trigger factor to its proposal to attend standard seasons. The Dallas Mavericks, West’s No. 7 seed for the 2019-20 season, ended 7½ games against the number 8 team – the top insiders wonder if it is fair to include a number 7 seed with the same amount. Such large buffering in 7-10 innings is suggested.
So far, the tournament’s 7-10 proposal has yet to be adjusted to include any leaderboard trigger, sources told ESPN. A play-in tournament means a media asset that generates money. Reducing the number of teams from four to three will reduce the number of games and, therefore, the overall revenue generated by the tournament, the sources said.
It’s possible that some teams may provoke some ranking-based adjustments as the general framework for the 2020-21 period is put in the vote. Sources say there is still a significant gap between the NBA and the NBPA over how the tournament will address the players’ salary cuts due to significant financial losses for 2019-20 and the forecast loss. Take more losses next year.
The NBA and NBPA discussed a significant increase in the players’ salaries withholding deposits to account for the serious losses in league revenue during the pandemic. The sides have been discussing dividing the players’ losses over several seasons – perhaps at most three years – so the players do not incur such significant financial losses for one year, the the source said. To that end, tournament salary and luxury tax limits will need to be in place over the next three years, the sources said.
The NBA and NBPA have split the BRI, and the tournament recently told teams that 40% of that revenue could be lost without a receipt at the portal this season, the sources said. NBA BRI revenue fell $ 1.5 billion for the 2019-20 season, according to data provided to teams and obtained by ESPN.
Most NBA cities still cannot have public gatherings of more than 500 people. The NBA plans to start the season without fans in the arenas – with a bit of confidence they’ll be able to return anytime early in the season as the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic spreads. USA.
Starting mid-January, around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the tournament will overtake the July Summer Olympics and enter the summer months when the federation is concerned that TV ratings will plummet. The NBA is estimating a significant financial shuffle if the tournament has to compete with the Summer Olympics for television ratings in July and is then forced to affect a return to the traditional NBA calendar for the 2021 season. -22.
ESPN’s Front Office Insider Bobby Marks contributed to this report.