The NBA continues to try and figure out its 2019-20 NBA season, after it was indefinitely suspended on March 11th. The NBA definitely wants to salvage the season, but the time is ticking on the season each day. The more the 2019-20 season gets prolonged, the more the 2020-21 NBA season is affected. One team that is presumedly eager to get back to the court is the Los Angeles Lakers. The team was the number one seed in the Western Conference, and had just beat the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers in the same weekend to show just how well-positioned the Lakers may be for the playoffs.
Although the Lakers, Bucks, Clippers, Rockets, and Raptors of the world may be itching to get back to resuming the 2019-20 season, what about teams out of playoff contention? What about the Golden State Warriors? The Washington Wizards? Many have wondered if the players on these sorts of teams would even want to return, even if it meant them salvaging whatever was left on their contracts for the season. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports has reported that those types of players may, in fact, prefer to not finish out the rest of the regular season. Here’s what Haynes had to say exactly:
The majority of players who are essentially eliminated from postseason contention would rather the league start back up with the top eight teams in each conference competing in some sort of playoff, sources said.
Yahoo Sources: NBA superstars LeBron James, Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Curry held private conference call on Monday and established united front in favor of resuming season. https://t.co/FZJfgP6WDu pic.twitter.com/6AZOWe0AXo
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 12, 2020
As there has been discussion on how to resume the season at all, there’s equally been as much discussion on how the NBA would return. A return straight to the playoffs would cause those out-of-contention teams to continue to stay at home and look to the offseason. However, there would definitely be some opposition to a decision like this. There’s still seeding to be decided in the regular season, a very important factor for many teams who want the easiest path to a championship. There are also teams that are technically not in the playoff picture right now, but may be opposed to not having a chance to sneak in. An example would be the New Orleans Pelicans or the Portland Trail Blazers, who are currently 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth seed in the Western Conference. In addition, everything revolving around this situation could affect the next CBA that is agreed to between the NBA and the NBPA, which appears to be on the mind of some players (below quote reported from Chris Haynes/Yahoo Sports).
For some players out of the playoff picture, there’s concern a canceled season could negatively affect the next CBA, sources said.
We will see what players start to say once they start voicing their opinions more in anticipation of a possible salvaging of the season. This at least indicates that some players would prefer a return straight into the playoffs.