The NBA is continuing to assess the feasibility of restarting the 2019-20 NBA season amid the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has dramatically changed the course of the season for Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics.
The NBPA sent out questions to players about their willingness to play, and the league reportedly would like to make a decision within the next four weeks.
However, according to Celtics fourth-year guard Brown, the league might skip the remainder of the regular season and enter the playoffs immediately.
Brown said he believed it is “understood” the NBA would want to advance right to the playoffs (via Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe):
“I think that is kind of, like, understood already, in a sense,” Brown said. “I don’t want to jump the gun. But I think the playoffs is what makes the league most of its money, and I think if we all agree to come back and play in the playoffs, I think it can regenerate [the income] so that we’ll be able to have a pretty solid salary cap going into next year. So the playoffs are what’s important.
“All NBA players, this is what we’re born to do, this is what we love to do,” he said. “Of course we want to play. We just don’t want to play at the expense of other people’s health, at the expense of starting things up too early, and it not being a good situation.”
This stance has also been adopted by persons like Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, who has routinely said he believes his team's season is over.
Of course, there are still teams fighting for playoff spots, notably in the Western Conference. Four teams are within four games of the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies.
The East is more solidified for Brown and the Celtics, as the Washington Wizards are the only team with any semblance of catching the Orlando Magic for the No. 8 spot.
Still, how will the NBA account for the teams still in contention out West? Will they have a modified playoff format, or will those squads be left out.
Regardless, Brown is prepared for playoff basketball if and when the NBA returns.