NBA teams owners could be seeing some form of financial relief in the form of millions being refunded from compensation deals with players, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.
The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) held an hour-long call on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the matter. During the call, they told agents that any compensation made by the league owners and NBPA will include refunds on all NBA contracts.
The players that this will hit hardest are the ones who receive their paychecks on six-month cycles. These players receive more money per pay cycle, but don’t get checks during the off-season. It will also hit the players who received an advance payment on their contracts. These are usually used to convince a free agent to sign a deal sooner.
The sources wished to remain anonymous since the call was confidential, but they claim that Michelle Roberts, NBPA executive director, did not give a timeline for when these refunds would be taken, but warned agents that the returns would be asked for should the league cancel the rest of the season’s games due to the pandemic.
Players whose contracts run past the current season could be spared, as owners may decide to recoup the funds over the life of the deal. But upcoming free agents who haven’t completed the last year of their contracts could have to write checks to NBA owners.
The players that this could include are the Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant (scheduled to earn roughly $37 million this season) and the Detroit Pistons’ Black Griffin ($34 million).
According to the collective bargaining agreement between the players and the league, the NBA is already allowed to retain roughly 1% of players’ paychecks for each canceled game via force majeure, such as in the case of a pandemic.
The NBA was the first league to suspend its season last month due to the coronavirus outbreaks. Soon after, other major leagues followed.
NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, has said that any decision to return is still weeks away, but if these repayments being considered as part of any compensation deal, it looks like the regular season portion of the NBA could be over.
For many of us, that is incredible disappointing news, but we hope that at least we can get the playoffs.
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