The NBA has asked players to take a 50% salary cut while games are on hold during the coronavirus lockdown. The intention is to share the financial burden with the teams. The proposed pay cut would start this coming April 15th, the next standard NBA payday. The Players Union countered with a 25% pay cut that would start mid-May.

To date, neither camp is willing to compromise. The league and the NBA teams are losing millions due to the game suspensions that started on March 11. Without games, there are no ticket sales and other gameday related income. There is also no revenue coming from broadcasting networks. However, players are still receiving their million-dollar paychecks guaranteed by their contracts.

Since the suspension, players already received two full paychecks, They were paid in full on March 15th and April 1st, even if no games were played. According to CBS Sports, the financial strain is making teams cut spending elsewhere. Last Friday, the Utah Jazz announced layoffs of non-basketball staff and other employees reduced their compensation in an effort to keep their jobs.

At the moment, it would seem like players hold all the cards with their legally binding contracts. But the league, brokering the deal on behalf of the team owners, still have cards to play. There is a force majeure clause in player's contracts that would allow the teams to forcefully cut player salaries or opt-out of the agreement altogether in case of game stoppage due to some disaster. That certainly applies in the case of the coronavirus pandemic.

It would lead to a lockdown and a prolonged work stoppage for the entire league altogether. This is a worst-case scenario that teams wish to avoid due to the financial burden it would cause down the road. But as it stands, the NBA is already in a lockdown and the teams have nothing left to lose.

NBA salary caps are also based on the projected income of the teams. If the teams continue to lose money, it would significantly lower future salary caps and lower player pay in the long run.

At the moment, things are at an impasse, but the players want to play as soon as possible. Most of them are too young to remember the last work stoppage that happened in 2011. For everyone's sake, it would be in their best interests if they reach an agreement soon.

NBA suspends play indefinitely
(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 17, 2020 a general view before the 69th NBA All-Star Game at the United Center on February 16, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The NBA has suspended play indefinitely after a Utah Jazz player preliminarily tested positive for the new coronavirus. Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Stacy Revere