The Offseason: How COVID-19 may impact the NBA moving forward

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The 2019-2020 NBA season came to a conclusion in the Orlando Bubble. It is uncertain as to how the 2021-2022 season will play out due to coronavirus.

Tristan Baldeo, Staff Writer

With the NBA season coming to a close, the offseason begins. While basketball may be over for viewers, the off-season can turn to be one of the most interesting parts of the sport with various rumors and changes to teams occurring throughout.

The coronavirus, however, has turned the offseason into something with uncertainty written all over it and leaves a lot of unanswered questions moving forward into the next season.

One of the only dates that can officially be confirmed as of now would be the NBA Draft, highlighted by stars such as LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards. This is to occur on November 18th in which teams will draft college and international players wanting to join the league.

The biggest issue coronavirus may have caused the NBA would be the shortened season, that of which cost the league over one billion dollars.

With this being known, the limit on the money that teams can put toward player’s salaries, also known as a salary cap, could possibly take a major hit in the next coming years. This would be bad news for many teams that have already invested a lot of money toward certain players.

This drop could lead to teams being put into the luxury tax and being unable to hand out contracts this free agency. If a drop is to occur any plans regarding free agency and contracts made before coronavirus become essentially useless to many teams.

The salary cap currently sits at $109.14 million and was projected to be around $115 million moving into the next season before coronavirus. While it is projected that the salary cap will be down, nothing official has been confirmed and we may see no changes at all, only time will tell.

While the free agency class this year is rather underwhelming, it will be interesting to see if any players end up receiving less money than projected due to these ramifications.

The start and end of the NBA season is also another topic up for debate, as the NBA is currently targeting to start the NBA season on December 22nd. This date is subject to change, however, as one of the most important things the NBA is targeting for next season is getting in person fans in stadiums once more for revenue.

This date would be perfect for the NBA however, compared to a previous date of January 18th. Starting December 22nd would provide a somewhat short 72-game season that would finish before the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Additionally, the infamous All-Star Weekend highlighted by events such as the three-point contest and dunk contest could possibly be chopped from the schedule entirely this year. While no final decision has been made on this, it would be rather irresponsible for it to occur with coronavirus and lackluster without the fans.

A play-in tournament for the eight-seed at the end of the season is also being discussed. Much like the one earlier this year in the bubble, that of which we saw the Memphis Grizzlies lose their spot to the Portland Trail Blazers.

No matter what is to happen this offseason, Adam Silver has proven as a Commissioner that he knows what he’s doing. We can only put our trust in him and hope for one amazing season of basketball moving forward.

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