NBA set to start withholding player pay

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association reached an agreement to withhold 25 percent of all players’ salaries starting May 15, the league and the players union announced Friday.

The players are expected to receive their full paychecks on May 1, however.



The deal to withhold the portion of each player’s paycheck would allow for a gradual reduction in salary should the “force majeure” provision of the collective bargaining agreement be enacted if the remainder of the season is canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The force majeure clause gives the NBA the right to alter payment to players if an unexpected event impacts the league and prevents it from playing games. A pandemic such as the coronavirus outbreak is one of the listed causes for that clause to be applicable.


According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the portion of the players’ salaries that is withheld would be placed in escrow. Should the regular season resume and be played in full, all the money would be paid out, per the report. Should only part of the season be played, the amount paid out would be prorated based on the number of games completed.

Wojnarowski also reported that the salary deductions will continue through the first two months of the 2020-21 NBA season.

The 2019-20 season has been suspended since March 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no set timetable for the season to resume.



–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)