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NBA suspension could extend to 2 months after latest CDC recommendation

NBA, Adam Silver

The NBA is currently suspended in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Commissioner Adam Silver said on Thursday the league would be shut down for at least 30 days, at which time league officials and owners would reconvene to assess the potential for resuming the season.

However, Silver also maintained the season could be canceled if the spread of the virus could not be contained or if larger societal ramifications precluded the resumption of play.

Sunday might have given the first real indication that the remainder season is in jeopardy.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that the CDC is recommending no gatherings of more than 50 people in the United States for the next eight weeks — which will certainly affect the league’s decision making on whether to resume the campaign or further delay it.

On the other hand, in light of the recent development, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN noted that executives around the league believe a best-case scenario would have teams returning to the floor in mid-June. It is also reported that the league has begun scouting for open dates in various arenas through the month of August.

Of course, if the best-case scenario is playing in June, that is a rather unfriendly situation. Under normal circumstances, the NBA Finals would have already concluded some time in mid-June, if not before then.

Such an impact on the 2019-20 schedule would also have long-standing effects elsewhere. For starters, how would Team USA come up with a suitable roster for the 2020 Olympic Games (if they are not canceled) without relying on tired players?

Or perhaps more consequently for the NBA, how will they address the offseason, free agency and a host of other factors leading into the 2020-21 campaign?

This will take quite a bit of deliberation from Silver and the owners. Given the circumstances, it seems entirely possible they could cancel the remainder of the season.