NBA Coach Thinks There Will Be a Lockout for 2021 Season If They Don’t Restart

HOUSTON, TEXAS - MARCH 10: A Spalding basketball is seen on the court in the first half of the game between the Houston Rockets and the Minnesota Timberwolves at Toyota Center on March 10, 2020 in Houston, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

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As NBA players raise concerns about resuming the 2019-20 season, at least one coach sees significant issues if play does not continue.

“I think there’s going to be a renegotiation of the CBA, there will be a lockout [in 2020-21] and you’re going to see something similar to what’s happening right now in baseball,” a Western Conference coach told Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “You’ll see a very different NBA going forward if, in fact, we don’t play.”

MLB has been unable to start its 2020 season because of a financial dispute between owners and players as they try to agree on how a shortened campaign would work.

The NBA has already approved a return to play with 22 teams set to compete in Orlando, Florida, beginning July 30. However, there has been pushback from players, and Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has led a call for players to sit out the games, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

There are numerous player concerns, including being a distraction from ongoing protests against racial injustice. Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard broke down his thoughts Sunday:

Jill Martin @ByJillMartin

Dwight Howard statement, provided by his agent, to CNN: https://t.co/sk9uSSHlpp

Other issues include injury risk after a long layoff, as well as restrictions of playing inside the NBA’s bubble in Orlando, per Wojnarowski.

If these disputes lead to a canceled postseason, it could result in significant economic problems for the league.

Per Bontemps, executives project about $1.2 billion in lost player salary. ESPN’s Bobby Marks previously reported basketball-related income would drop $1 billion to $2 billion, leading to a salary-cap reduction of $25 million to $30 million for 2020-21.

This could lead to drastic changes to free agency with little money available for players.

A renegotiated collective bargaining agreement would likely further the divide between players and owners.

The 2020-21 season is scheduled to begin Dec. 1, leaving only seven weeks for an offseason after the final possible day of the NBA Finals on Oct. 13.

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