Toronto Raptors star Fred VanVleet is sceptical about the coronavirus-hit NBA season restarting amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The NBA has been suspended since March 11 due to the COVID-19 crisis, which has killed at least 184,200 people worldwide.
It remains to be seen when, and if, the 2019-20 season will resume as the United States struggles to contain the outbreak following more than 848,900 confirmed cases and over 47,600 deaths in the country.
The NBA, which is committed to completing the campaign, is reportedly exploring the possibility of holding the entire playoffs in one location – Las Vegas. There has been talk the league could head straight into the playoffs if the season resumes.
VanVleet, who won the championship with the Raptors last term, is braced for the season not resuming.
"I think everybody is just preparing for the worst-case scenario, the season being cancelled," VanVleet said during a conference call on Wednesday. "We have to do what we have to do to try to shoulder the hit as best we can for us as players and owners and the league, while also working to try to resume as best we can."
"I could play anywhere," VanVleet continued. "Do I want to play in front of no people? No, but does it really matter? At this point, I don't think anybody is going to have a quarrel with what happens, as long as people's health is first and foremost, which we know it probably won't be."
"If our league is going to be a leader in terms of public health and public safety and player safety, you've got to follow the guidelines of what the virus is speaking to you, so the odds are probably against us in terms of that," VanVleet added. "But money, right? So, I think they'll find a way somehow, some way and try to make it happen. I could definitely see it going either way. I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't come back and I wouldn't be surprised if we do come back."
VanVleet was set to become a free agent at the end of the season and the 26-year-old guard added: "I think the league and the union will try to do a good job to make sure that the free agents this summer get a fair shake and there's fair negotiating. Obviously, we'll probably all take a hit at some point, and hopefully the hit is just kind of minimised to this year.
"I think people's health and wellbeing, and frame of mind, is a lot more important than a couple of million here or there, because we're filthy rich compared to what we came from in the first place. So I don't think anybody's crying over it."
|Kings forward Richaun Holmes in quarantine after leaving Disney bubble for food|
|Coronavirus: Russell Westbrook tests positive for COVID-19|
|Lakers´ Rondo out for up to eight weeks with thumb fracture|
|Lakers´ Davis to wear own name on jersey|
|Kawhi Leonard ´healthy´ and now at Disney World, confirms Rivers|
|LeBron James won´t wear social justice message on jersey|
|Nets sign veteran forward Beasley|
|Coronavirus: Kawhi Leonard´s arrival at Disney World delayed – reports|
|Spurs´ Patty Mills donating entire salary from restart to BLM organisations|
|Coronavirus: Magic player tests positive, Fultz delayed entering NBA bubble|
|Embiid: I can carry Philadelphia 76ers|
|Coronavirus: Silver concerned about COVID-19 cases penetrating NBA bubble in Orlando|
|Coronavirus: Dinwiddie done for season after second positive test|
|Beal ruled out for Wizards ahead of NBA restart|
|Dwight Howard confirms he will play when NBA season resumes|
|Coronavirus: NBA releases scrimmage schedule before season restart|
|Coronavirus: Raptors ready to defend NBA title – Ibaka|
|Pacers´ Oladipo opts out of NBA restart|
|Celtics´ Hayward will leave Orlando in September for child´s birth|
|Coronavirus: Spurs´ DeRozan unhappy with NBA bubble rules|
|Coronavirus: Lakers´ chances of NBA success higher after break – Davis|
|Mitchell speaks about relationship with Jazz team-mate Gobert|
|Coronavirus: Nine more NBA players test positive|
|Coronavirus: No one has worked harder than Embiid – Brown hails 76ers star|
|Coronavirus: Giannis says 2020 NBA title will be ´toughest championship you could ever win´|
|Coronavirus: Nuggets expect to have All-Star Jokic for NBA restart|
|Coronavirus: Orlando bubble a ´mental test´ for Lakers – Pelinka|
|Coronavirus: Silver says COVID-19 spread may stop NBA|
|Coronavirus: Nets´ Jordan tests positive for COVID-19, won´t play in Orlando|
|Coronavirus: Nets PG Dinwiddie tests positive for COVID-19, may sit out restart|
|Coronavirus: Nets´ Chandler opts out of NBA season restart in Orlando|
|Coronavirus: NBA releases schedule for season restart in Orlando|
|Coronavirus: NBA, players finalise terms for restart|
|Coronavirus: NBA tests reveal 16 players have COVID-19|
|Vince Carter retires: An incredible 22-year NBA career in numbers|
|Vince Carter officially announces retirement after 22-year NBA career|
|Coronavirus: Kings´ Jabari Parker tests positive for COVID-19|
|Coronavirus: Pacers guard Brogdon tests positive for COVID-19|
|Lakers´ Avery Bradley to opt out of restart for family concerns|
|Coronavirus: Raptors fly out to Florida for planned NBA restart|
|Nice follow through, buddy! LeBron James impressed by Novak Djokovic´s basketball skills|
|Mavericks owner Cuban hopes NBA players are allowed to kneel during anthem|
|Pistons hire Thunder executive Weaver as GM|
|LaMelo Ball fails in bid to buy NBL side Illawarra Hawks|
|Coronavirus: Damian Lillard says NBA return ´a risk that I’m willing to take´|
|Coronavirus: Planned NBA restart ´may not be for everyone´, says Silver|
|On this day in sport: Pistons stun Lakers for NBA glory, Jack Nicklaus makes history|
|Dwight Howard hasn´t made decision on playing – agent|
|Lakers´ Dwight Howard would give up NBA Championship for ´unity of my people´|
|Michael Jordan and the Last Dance Bulls: Stats Perform AI finds modern comparisons|
|Coronavirus: NBA players divided concerning risk of restart|
|Bucks´ Hill couldn´t care less about NBA amid fight against racism|
|On this day in sport: Jordan´s first of six, Finals glory for Lakers and Warriors|
|Coronavirus: Rockets GM ´won´t stand´ for keeping D´Antoni off sidelines|
|Trail Blazers founder Harry Glickman dies at 96|
|Coronavirus: Hawks star Young ´mad´ about NBA´s 22-team restart|
|Coronavirus: Warriors´ Kerr wants minicamp for NBA teams absent from Disney World|
|Coronavirus: NBA could condense 2020-21 season – Hawks GM|
|Gasol attracted by final season with Lakers or Barcelona|
|On this day in sport: Career Grand Slam for Sharapova, Abdul-Jabbar makes NBA Finals history|
|Spurs´ Aldridge has shoulder surgery, will miss rest of NBA season|
|On this day in sport: Federer equals Sampras´ record, Jordan´s Bulls silence Jazz|
|Heat coach Spoelstra: We can´t stand for systemic racism and social injustice anymore|
|Coronavirus: Spoelstra´s Miami Heat ´extremely motivated´ ahead of NBA return|
|Gregg Popovich on racism: The United States ´is in trouble´|
|Bulls to take patient approach with coach Boylen|
|Zach LaVine: It ´sucks´ that NBA season is over for Chicago Bulls|
|Nets´ Durant says he will not play if NBA season resumes|
|Jordan Brand and Michael Jordan donate $100M to racial equality|
|Farewell, Vince Carter? An incredible 22-year NBA career in numbers|