Steph Curry, other NBA players face financial 'elephant in the room'

Drew Shiller
NBC Sports BayArea

The NBA season has been suspended indefinitely since March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic, and it's possible that the rest of the 2019-20 campaign -- playoffs included -- gets canceled altogether.

But optimism emerged Tuesday, with various national reports saying that all parties involved would like to resume play at some point this summer.

Any specific reason for the shift in narrative? Well, as NBC Sports NBA insider Tom Haberstroh explained to Mike Tirico during "Lunch Talk Live" on Wednesday:

"All the players want to get back to the court, but the elephant in the room here is: Under what financial circumstances? This week has been circled on the calendar -- on the players' union side -- for weeks. Friday, May 15 is the first day that players will be having a 25 percent paycut as a result of this pandemic," Haberstroh said. "Up until now, they have been receiving their pay in full.

"So I think the players are now having this unified front because they realize the money is gonna be crunched a little bit come Friday, and they need to be accelerated in a return to play if possible."

Money talks, so it's not a surprise to hear this perspective.

But even if the league ultimately determines it is safe enough to return, the NBA and NBPA have to collectively bargain and agree on a plethora of pressing issues.

Sorting out all of the dynamics related to dollars and cents will be challenging.

"The financial side is so much more complicated," Haberstroh told Tirico. "For example, if they go back to a playoff scenario does that mean that Steph Curry -- who is in last place in the NBA -- receives no more paychecks for the rest of the season?

"If they return to a playoff format -- skipping the regular season -- I think a lot of players outside of that playoff picture are gonna be wondering, 'What does that mean for my paycheck?'"

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The Warriors, who own the worst record at 15-50, technically have 17 more games left on the schedule.

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"We'll be good soldiers if the league asks us to play," coach Steve Kerr said Tuesday on 95.7 The Game. "We'll play. (But) I don't anticipate that happening."

So if Golden State's season in fact is over, we eventually will find out what that means for the players' salaries.

You're just going to have to wait several more weeks for the answers to all of your questions.

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Steph Curry, other NBA players face financial 'elephant in the room' originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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