Less than a month after the NBA suspended play, the league is reportedly "angling" to set up a deal to end the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
SNY's Ian Begley reported that several agents had said they were planning for such as scenario, and ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported Friday that now the league and players union are in "talks" and there's a "significant amount of pessimism."
"I've talked to both sides of this issue, and it is clear that the NBA is angling to set up a deal that enables them to shut the season down," Windhorst said.
"Now they don't have to do that yet, and the way they're negotiating they're leaving themselves an option either way, but they're not having talks about how to restart the league, they're having financial talks about what would happen if the season shuts down, and I think there is a significant amount of pessimism right now."
People with several teams reached by SNY earlier this week said they were still hopeful that a small portion of the regular season and an augmented playoff could be scheduled. However, ESPN had reported to keep an eye on the Chinese Basketball Association if you're looking for an indication of if/when the NBA may return. The Chinese government reportedly issued an order on Tuesday to delay the start of any group sporting events.
If the NBA season is canceled, Begley says to expect the league to pivot to finding a workable date for the NBA Draft after the outstanding CBA issues are settled with the players association.
The league first suspended play in mid-March after Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus, and the rest of the North American professional sports leagues followed suit.