The NBA is already seeing a significant hit to its bottom line in the wake of a tense multi-week standoff with its business partners in China.
"The losses have already been substantial," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said at the Time 100 Health Summit on Thursday, according to ESPN. "Our games are not back on the air in China as we speak, and we'll see what happens next.
"I don't know where we go from here. The financial consequences have been and may continue to be fairly dramatic."
The furor was sparked by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey when he tweeted an image expressing solidarity with anti-government protesters in Hong Kong. The post was deleted after being denounced by team owner Tilman Fertitta.
The NBA's initial response to the issue was viewed by some as kowtowing to foreign business interests at the price of rights and principles. Silver ultimately clarified the league's position, affirming its backing of Morey and accepting the financial ramifications of its stance.
Government-controlled organizations in China quickly cut ties, nixing events and domestic broadcasts surrounding a pair of preseason games between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets. Rockets apparel, once prized in the country due to the team's longtime affiliation with Chinese icon Yao Ming, was pulled from Nike stores in the country.
The potential of diminished revenues from the Chinese market has reportedly caused some NBA front offices to begin planning for scenarios in which the 2020-21 salary cap drops between 10% and 15%.