After weeks of discussions, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) have agreed on the framework of player salaries going forward in the coronavirus-impacted season.
According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the two sides settled on a 25% withholding of player paychecks, beginning on May 15. NBA players — who are paid twice a month, year-round — will receive their full paychecks on May 1, with the withholding beginning with the next pay period.
ESPN Sources: The NBA and NBPA have agreed on the withholding of 25 percent of each player paycheck beginning on May 15. Deal gives gradual reduction in salary should Force Majeure provision be enacted with cancellation of regular season games. May 1 checks will be paid in full.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 17, 2020
This is a solid win for the Players Association. When negotiations began, this is essentially what the players were pushing for, with the league hoping for 50% pay reductions beginning in April.
The NBA/NBPA announce their agreement on player pay pic.twitter.com/3s8wd80bsX— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) April 17, 2020
Of note is the term “withholding” used in the report. The NBA is not reducing paychecks just yet. They’re simply withholding part of the money, and holding it in escrow.
If the league is able to resume, the money will be returned to the players in some amount. If the full 82-game schedule is resumed, the players will get all of their money back. If the season is resumed but truncated, they’ll get some of the money back.
If the 2019-20 season is cancelled in full, the 30 teams will keep the 25% that they withheld, as part of the Force Majeure clause.
All in all, it’s a job well done by the Players Association, which is led by two people that the Golden State Warriors are very familiar with: The president of the NBPA is longtime Warriors rival Chris Paul, while the first vice president is Warriors legend Andre Iguodala.