The NBA could see a revenue hit of over $1 billion due to the league's coronavirus suspension, a dip that could result in a "record" drop in the 2020-21 salary cap, according to the Washington Post's Ben Golliver.
The most severe estimates of the league's lost revenue come under the assumption that the season is lost entirely due to concerns over COVID-19. A cancelation of 2019-20 would cost each team roughly $40 million, totaling a $1.2 billion loss league wide, per FiveThirtyEight.
The $1 billion-plus revenue loss would certainly hurt the bottom line of owners across the NBA, but how would it impact the league's players? They would also likely see a dip in their respective salaries. The Athletic's John Hollinger estimated an $8 million decline in the 2020-21 salary cap, falling from $109 million this season to just over nine figures next year.
A lowered salary cap wouldn't just hurt impending free agents. Players who signed max contracts or mid-level exception contracts have their respective salaries tied to a designated percentage of the salary cap, and those salaries will fall in concert with the drop in the salary cap.
Both Russell Westbrook and James Harden currently hold supermax contracts with the Rockets. Westbrook is currently slated to earn $44.2 million in 2020-21 (per previous salary cap projections), while Harden is set to earn $44.3 million next season. The Rockets have five players under contract for next season, and only Westbrook, Harden and Eric Gordon are slated to be on the team's salary cap in 2021-22.