How new CDC recommendation could impact the NBA's timeline for resuming play


On Sunday, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC hereafter) issued a statement recommending the cancellation of all events consisting of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks.

This is obviously a massive development as it relates to suspended American sports leagues returning to play — especially the NBA. Last week, commissioner Adam Silver said the league’s current hiatus would last for “at least” 30 days, but that timeline always felt optimistic. The CDC’s newest update cements that feeling.

Should the league abide by the CDC's recommendation, the earliest feasible return to action would be in mid-May, pushing play well back into the summer.

But according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, even a return in the middle of May might be wishful thinking. Per Wojnarowski, the current sentiment around the league is that a “best-case scenario” would be resuming in mid-to-late June without fans. Teams are reportedly preparing to play through as late as August:

The ramifications of that timeline are widespread, from scheduling gymnastics (where will teams play deep into the summer with arenas more than likely double-booked? What about the '20-21 season?) to potential financial losses (how will players be compensated if play extends past the end of their contracts? How will the salary cap be impacted?). 

According to Wojnarowski and ESPN’s Malika Andrews, the cancellation of the remainder of the G League’s schedule is currently on the table:

Taking that action — while unfortunate — could go some way towards assuaging the financial consequences of this hiatus. Wojnarowski did add that if the rest of the G League season is cancelled, all players will be compensated.

The more layers of this story that are peeled back, the more it becomes apparent that this is only the beginning.

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