NBA, Union Likely Face Collective Bargaining Round Before Resuming

Sam Amico

Don't be surprised if the NBA and players' association have some things to work out before play can resume, whenever that may be.

The league is on hold with the rest of the world because of the coronavirus. There is nothing close to a set return date for the NBA -- and any time there is a suspension in play, an unplanned round of negotiations typically results.

"The NBA and the union are going to have to negotiate when they come back," ESPN insider Brian Windhorst said on his podcast. "They're going to have to open the collective bargaining agreement for simple things like changing the league year."

Windhorst added that each side is going to make some requests of the other.

"The league year is going to change, but they're going to have to be concessions asked by the owners potentially and there are going to be some asks for the players," he said.

The league suspended play when it was learned Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus March 11. While commissioner Adam Silver admitted all involved are hopeful the schedule resumes, everything is very much still up in the air.

That type of uncertainty almost definitely will lead to changes in how business is conducted.

"I believe we are heading for a bargaining session over the summer. The CBA, which was locked in for years, something like seven or eight years, I believe firmly is going to reopen over the summer," Windhorst said. "There are going to be certain things that can be negotiated. 

"For example, if they're already opening the CBA about how to retrofit the NBA calendar or change the salary cap stuff, maybe they put one-and-done in there while they're doing it. There's going to be negotiations and horse trading."

Most teams have played around 65 games. Should the games eventually resume, everything from figuring out seeding to extending the playoffs will be on the table.

"That is why the relationship between players and owners is something to watch right now," Windhorst said. "They're going to have to get agreement to start playing again. They're going to be outside their parameters that they've agreed to."

Sam Amico covers the NBA and Cleveland Cavaliers for SI.com. Follow him @AmicoHoops. 

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