NBA, NBPA Plan On Moratorium For Roster Moves, Contracts

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association plan to enter an agreement on a moratorium period while the NBA season is suspended, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Similar to the July moratorium, this period would freeze moves such as free agent signings and trades (not that trades would be permitted anyway at this time of year). As Charania explains, it would also prohibit action on player and team options, and would freeze 10-day contracts.

According to Charania (via Twitter), the preliminary timeline for the moratorium period is expected to be March 12 through April 10. That timeline would be reassessed as April 10 approaches.

Postponing the actual scheduled games only represents part of the logistical challenge facing the NBA during its hiatus. There are a number of contract- and CBA-related questions that must be answered in the coming days and weeks, especially if the league ultimately intends to push the 2019/20 league year beyond June 30.

John Hollinger of The Athletic discussed a handful of these questions in a Thursday article, pointing to 10-day contracts, incentive bonuses, option and salary guarantee deadlines, and contracts that expire on July 1 (for both players and coaches) as issues that must be addressed. As Bobby Marks of ESPN and Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report note (via Twitter), the NBA and NBPA would have to come to an agreement on what changes will be made if the end of the season is pushed into July or August.

Hollinger, Marks, and others have also pointed out that the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement includes “force majeure” language in the event that games are canceled for reasons outside of the NBA’s control, such as an epidemic. Theoretically, the league and its owners could trigger that provision and could aim to recoup 1/92.6th of players’ salaries for each lost regular season game.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski writes that players have been made aware of that force majeure clause, but there have been no discussions between the league and the union so far about the provision, since there’s still a belief the season can just be postponed rather than canceled. According to Charania, players will receive their next check in full on March 15.

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