While the NBA wants to finish out the 19-20 season in whatever manner is available to them due to COVID-19, they also don't want to averse impact the 20-21 season financially.
"What about next season? What are you willing to do about next season? Because Adam (Silver) has several times, including his talk with Ernie Johnson this week, he mentioned about how he wants to protect next season," said Brian Windhorst on his podcast.
"In reality, guys, I mean I've talked to people who point this out to me: the NBA can restart this season whenever they want. If they had to wait until October and just restarted at the normal time and picked up where they left off from last year and finished the season at Christmas. And said 'okay, now we're going to have an abbreviated offseason and we're going to start again in the spring and play until the fall'. If they were willing to change their calendar a little bit, or have a very brief offseason. They could do it. There's nothing stopping them from doing it. But that would dramatically impact that season.
"Also, you could cut next season short. You could trim off some games to fit all into the calendar. But the fact that, at least until this point, Adam has made the point they don't want to affect next season backstops what the league can do this year.
"Now, where is that line of demarcation? Is it September 15th? Is it August 31st? I don't know. Nobody knows, really. But that's an important thing.
"When the union and the players, and they're going to come to an agreement most likely in the next week here on salaries: what they're trying to accomplish is to make a deal where the players give up salary and limit the damage to this year, so that the salary cap doesn't collapse next year. They're already making attempts to put up a wall to protect next season. Those are really important factors nobody is thinking about.
"And if you're an NBA player, okay, and I'm not saying that the owners of the Bucks or the owners of the Clippers or the owners of the Lakers are thinking this way, but if you're an owner of NBA team X who is not in the playoffs and you know that your team is not going to make the playoffs, or your team is not going to compete for the championship and you're not going to get any more revenue this season, you're not going to sell any tickets. You're going to have to refund all those things. There's not going to be any playoff money to you."
"There's playoff TV money," replied Tim MacMahon.
"Yeah, but the TV money could be guaranteed," said Windhorst in response.