NBA commissioner Adam Silver wants the 2019-20 season to resume. So do coaches, players, and fans. Toronto guard Fred VanVleet would like the season to continue, but he’s also preparing for the worst.
VanVleet, who was averaging career-highs of 17.6 points and 6.6 assists per game before the league suspended play due to the coronavirus, is somewhat of a skeptic. The former Wichita State star realizes that games could resume without fans. He’s also smart enough to know that there is a possibility the remainder of the season will be cancelled.
Whatever happens, it will have an impact on free agency. VanVleet is scheduled to become a free agent this summer. He is in the second year of a two-year deal worth $18 million that he signed before the 2018-19 season. A number of other players will enter free agency including Lakers star Anthony Davis. How free agency will proceed is another looming question surrounding the NBA.
Another question is exactly how the NBA is supposed to pull off playing out the remainder of the schedule. Do teams play their remaining regular season schedules? Or does the league go right to the postseason?
Exactly how teams play games is another problem without a solution. Most believe games will be played without fans to start. The issue with games, even without fans, is still the number of people involved. It’s not just the 5-on-5 on the court. There are 15 players on each team, coaches, trainers, medical staff, ball boys, etc. Don’t forget the game officials, scorekeepers, and TV and radio personnel.
There is still a great risk with so many people involved in a single game. The NBA has yet to answer the one big question that most everyone has around the country – what if someone becomes infected? Would the season immediately stop again? Would all those that came in contact with the infected be immediately quarantined? How does a season continue with players possibly quarantined for 14 days?
It is questions like these that will have to be answered for the NBA to resume play in 2020.