Last Word On Basketball

China Situation Could Impact NBA Salary Cap

Adam Silver, commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA), attends a news conference prior to the NBA Japan Games 2019 between the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors in Saitama, Japan, on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. Chinas state broadcaster CCTV said Tuesday that it would halt broadcasts of the National Basketball Associations games as a backlash intensified against the U.S. league over a tweet that expressed support for Hong Kongs pro-democracy protesters. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images

To put it lightly, the NBA has an absolute mess on their hands. Ever since Daryl Morey — general manager of the Houston Rockets — sent a tweet in support of Hong Kong, the league has been in a state of panic. China has flexed its financial muscles on the NBA, restricting broadcasts and canceling several business deals in the aftermath. Now, Yahoo! Sports is reporting the debacle could cost the NBA millions in salary-cap space due to losses in the Chinese market.

NBA Salary Cap Could Take Hit from China Debacle

Potential Salary Cap Hit

The NBA has a conundrum on their hands as it stands in terms of the China situation, but now, everyone’s paycheck could get lighter. According to Yahoo! Sports, the salary cap could take as much as a 15 percent hit next season as a direct result of issues with the foreign country. Currently, the salary cap sits at $109 million for each team. That number was projected to jump as high as $116 million next season.

Then Morey sent the tweet.

The projected hit of between 10 and 15 percent equates to between $11.6 million and $17.4 million, respectively. That would put several teams in less-than-ideal situations, keeping several franchises out of the free agency market in the coming years. It could also negatively affect players and max contracts. Deals are based on percentages of the salary cap, so if it drops, players will not be eligible to make as much money as previously thought.

The China Controversy Continues

The controversy has also put the NBA as a whole under much scrutiny. For a league that has often been one of the most progressive in terms of giving players, coaches, and management full freedom of speech, it has now essentially restricted speech on the specific issue. In fact, the media relations department of the Houston Rockets effectively shut down a reporter asking questions surrounding the situation.

Currently, the outcome of the overall incident remains somewhat unclear. It seems highly unlikely that there is any resolve in the near future. For now, it remains an ongoing controversy that could last well into the 2019-20 NBA season.

There remains a high possibility the entire NBA — from owners to bench players — eventually feels the long-term effects of all actions taken in the last few days.

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