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Jaylen Brown says NBA probably would go right to playoffs with a restart

The availability of coronavirus testing is the key to a resumption of play, said Jaylen Brown.
The availability of coronavirus testing is the key to a resumption of play, said Jaylen Brown.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Celtics forward Jaylen Brown said in a CNN interview Wednesday that he thinks it is “kind of understood” that if the NBA resumes its season this summer, the league would restart with the playoffs instead of trying to complete the remaining regular-season games with all 30 teams.

“I think that is kind of, like, understood already, in a sense,” Brown said. “I don’t want to jump the gun. But I think the playoffs is what makes the league most of its money, and I think if we all agree to come back and play in the playoffs, I think it can regenerate [the income] so that we’ll be able to have a pretty solid salary cap going into next year. So the playoffs are what’s important.”

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Brown, who is a vice president of the National Basketball Players Association, said the general sentiment around the league is that the players would like to resume the season.

“All NBA players, this is what we’re born to do, this is what we love to do,” he said. “Of course we want to play. We just don’t want to play at the expense of other people’s health, at the expense of starting things up too early, and it not being a good situation.”

Brown said that NBPA president Chris Paul led a phone call Tuesday that included some of the league’s star players to gauge their feelings about returning.

“I think the most influential players that were on that call that we speak of, a lot of those guys want to continue the season,” Brown said. “And that’s very important to us.

"But we’ve also got to get with some of the guys that also make up this league and see how they feel. Everything is moving in the right [direction]. We just … don’t want to come back too early and make people feel like things are OK if things are not [and are] potentially dangerous.”

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Jaylen Brown was averaging 20.4 points per game this past season before things were put on hold.
Jaylen Brown was averaging 20.4 points per game this past season before things were put on hold.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Brown said he believes that, ultimately, coronavirus testing advances and availability will truly determine whether the league can resume this summer.

“Those resources have to pick up for the NBA to be able to come back,” he said.

If this season restarts, it will most likely occur in one or two restricted locations, such as Las Vegas or Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Brown said that players understand that large gatherings will not be likely for quite a while, so if next season begins without fans, they will adjust.


Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at adam.himmelsbach@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @adamhimmelsbach.