It’s hard to believe the Thunder participated in the game that sent the league into a spiral shutdown. The unfortunate suspension of play has been hard on players and fans. Everyone wants basketball back.
Teams and the league have a financial obligation to get to at least 70 games. Many TV deals are predicated on getting to that marker. If they don’t, it would cost a league millions that will see a drastic reduction in revenue due to the shutdown already.
Currently, the league is considering different options that are not limited to playing out the season or just going straight to the playoffs. If they go straight to the playoffs, that leaves 14 teams at home and some teams may feel jilted. Such as Portland, New Orleans, and Sacramento, who were all less than three games back of a Memphis team that was reeling due to injuries.
Then, players that are on expiring deals, who showed out through the first 66 games or so, are at risk of getting out there, laying goose eggs and potentially costing themselves money.
For now, the league worries on what the league will look like if and when it resumes. Damian Lillard already said is not going to play. The Thunder want to play, they were one of the league’s hottest teams before the shutdown. Why does Golden State want to play? Atlanta had the most active in voluntary workouts on Memorial Day, so it’s all across the board in terms of activity.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, there isn’t going to be any resistance from teams if they do bring back all 30 teams but the league is worried about the product. After four months off, you’re going to have some sloppy play and maybe some upsets. The Thunder may not be the same team we saw throughout the season. They may not be the same team we fell in love with.
There’s talk of putting the league back into action mid-July, with the playoffs and NBA Finals ending in September. The draft and free agency would start later in the month when the 2020-21 season starting on Christmas.
Mark Cuban has a wild proposition. All 30 teams to finish out their television obligations. Tehn, the top 10 teams from both conferences would qualify for the playoffs and be re-seeded based on record. There would be two play-in games between the 17 vs. 20 and 18 vs. 19 games. The winners would be the 15th and 16th seeds in the final playoff bracket.
By this proposal, there are 28 of the 30 teams that are within three games of the 10th seed and could make the altered playoff bracket.
There will be no unanimous decision. The players don’t really want to risk injury but they don’t want to risk financial gain. They are already taking a 25 percent pay cut due to the suspension due to COVID-19. There will be teams who don’t want to risk their draft position and some who are trying to better that or their playoff positioning.
We want basketball back. What will that look like when it does return? That remains to be seen.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!