The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are discussing the possibility of withholding up to 25% of players’ remaining salaries in a league escrow if regular season games are eventually canceled and not made up, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. 

Players will be paid on full checks on Wednesday, but they have not been assured further payments, according to The New York Times Marc Stein.

Per ESPN, the NBA continues to be optimistic that the season will resume at some point, but the NBA’s financial future was seemingly made more complicated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The league could exercise the Force Majeure clause in the collective bargaining agreement, which covers for catastrophic circumstances. Per ESPN, once there is a cancellation of games, the clause is automatically triggered. The use of the clause protects against a dramatic drop in the salary cap and luxury tax for next season, but it would also lead to a more immediate financial impact on the league’s players. 

According to Wojnarowski, the Force Majeure becomes one additional mechanism that could work for the league to deliver on the players’ agreed upon 51% revenue share with owners and balance the league’s financial formula.

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