With the sports world in complete turmoil, we are all left speculating when and how things will resume with any sense of normalcy. Within the last 48 hours, multiple leagues and sources have started to speculate about when leagues expect to be back.
NBA Targeting A Full Season
Last week, when this all really started to take a toll on the sports world with basically everything being canceled, the NBA held a meeting with team owners and management. After that meeting, there were multiple reports that the NBA was eyeing a return ASAP with the intention to play out the rest of the season from the restart date.
While this may seem a bit tough to imagine, understanding that they could possibly go into late August with a normal regular season starting back up in October. I would imagine that if this were to be the path of the season, they would likely implement a proposal that suggested the NBA move their season start to December to limit their competition with the NBA throughout the fall.
Yesterday, Mark Cuban went public with claims that after talking to the CDC and other people close to the situation, he believes that they could start in mid-May. This would almost definitely consist of mass testing players and limiting fans for a certain period if it were to return that soon.
Adam Silver discussed last week that the NBA considered very drastic measures to continue play before Rudy Gobert tested positive, including sending all players to a certain location where all teams would be able to play without constant travel.
While this is not happening now, I would expect something like that to be on the table if they were to get started in mid-May.
We will likely struggle to return to normalcy in all sports until the virus is completely gone since there are no confirmed cures. I think that once testing becomes widespread enough to test every player consistently, we will see the NBA try to come up with creative ways to get players into a situation to play games.
The biggest concern moving forward is if one player tests positive, would the NBA cancel that game, the season, or just rule him out for two weeks automatically? Could we see a situation where teams are without star players because of a positive test?
This will be very interesting to follow as the NBA is likely the first major sport to get back because of limited rosters.
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MLB Weighing Options
Major League Baseball was just getting started when everything came crumbling down, and they are now scrambling to come up with a plan of action. They are also dealing with player contracts and even a bit of free agency.
Commissioner Rob Manfred can suspend pay to players in the event of a national emergency, but there are no plans to do anything like that as of now. Baseball is also dealing with minor league players that have not been paid since September, and they get paid very little anyways in most cases.
There were recent changes made to try and do more for minor leaguers, but this is only increasing the pressure on MLB to back minor leaguers financially.
Baseball is likely targeting a June restart if possible, but there have been multiple reports about starting the season at the All-Star break in mid-July. There is a huge push from players to make sure the season is played and that they play as much as possible. Players have talked about playing up to two doubleheaders a week to pack the schedule.
There are also major concerns for upcoming free agents who could lack recent production or be delayed because they lost a year of service. A 30-year-old free agent could very well make $25 million more than the same player at 31, and this is a concern Trevor Bauer has expressed with his looming free agency.