Report: NBA could withhold players’ pay if regular-season games are cancelled

The NBA and its players association are discussing scenarios of withholding up to 25 per cent of players’ pay if regular season games are cancelled, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski reported that the NBA remains “hopeful” that the league will resume with some part of the regular season and playoffs, but any loss of games will result in a financial burden shouldered by both the players and owners.

The NBA shut down on March 11 after Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The virus has since halted nearly all sporting events across the globe.

The COVID-19 pandemic qualifies as a Force Majeure, which triggers a clause in the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement that states players will lose approximately one per cent of salary per cancelled game.

Even if the NBA and NBPA don’t reach an agreement on withholding a certain percentage of players’ salaries by the April 15 paycheques, players would still be required to pay back a portion of salary later, assuming games are cancelled.

There is no plan to announce the cancellation of games in the immediate future, Wojnarowski said.

Withheld player salaries would be held in escrow, which is already the case for 10 per cent of each player’s salary across the league.

Not all players are paid on the same schedule, though. As Wojnarowski notes, Toronto Raptors forward Marc Gasol is in a challenging situation.

Gasol, a pending free agent, has two installments of $2.15 million left after he receives his April 1 cheque. Because he’s entering free agency and is on a shorter

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Georgetown’s McClung to test NBA waters, could return

Mac McClung #2 of the Georgetown Hoyas battles Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree #21 and Saddiq Bey #41 of the Villanova Wildcats for the ball during the first half of a college basketball game at Wells Fargo Center on January 11, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rich Schultz/Getty Images/AFP

WASHINGTON — Georgetown sophomore guard Mac McClung announced Sunday that he is declaring for the NBA draft but will maintain his eligibility so he can return to college.

The 6-foot-2 McClung attracted an online following for his high-flying dunks while he was in high school in Virginia.

He averaged 15.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists this season but missed time because of a right foot injury and appeared in only 21 of Georgetown’s 32 games.

McClung’s last game was Feb. 19 against Providence, when he played only eight minutes and missed all three of his field-goal attempts.

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Spurs’ DeRozan promotes mental health during COVID-19 pandemic

It’s easy to get caught up in all the negativity surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like the rest of his NBA brethren, with the league on hiatus, DeMar DeRozan is stuck social distancing at home and is being bombarded by headlines about the spread of the new coronavirus across North America.

In an effort to dispel some of that anxiety, the San Antonio Spurs star and mental health advocate hosted a conversation with sports psychologist Kensa Gunter on Instagram Sunday.

The 30-year-old — who has spent the past two seasons in San Antonio after a blockbuster trade from the Toronto Raptors for Kawhi Leonard — said he’s been attempting to keep busy, maintain a routine and not look too far ahead to stay in a positive headspace.

“I’ve been just trying to challenge myself every single day, try do something new, out of the ordinary for myself. I tried to do a big ol’ puzzle the other day,” DeRozan said with a smile.

The veteran scorer also stressed the need to get outside as much as possible, exercise and stay connected with friends and family.

“Me, especially having two daughters, just trying to be their teacher, make up for a lot of lost time that I probably miss throughout the season that us as athletes don’t get a chance to have,” he said.

And while DeRozan knows it’s challenging to find a “happy place to be stuck in” right now, he hopes people can see that everyone is “in this together” and there is the light at the end of the tunnel.

“My hope is, everybody finds a new appreciation for life period, because at any given moment so many things can be snatched away from us. The things we love to do, the people we love — everything,” said DeRozan.

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