The league has already reached a deal with players to reduce imports spots from three players to two and reduce salaries for next season due to projected drops in revenue.
“We are firmly focused on delivering the best season we can with the health and safety of players, staff, fans and the wider community remaining paramount,” Kestelman said.
“The taskforce will assist us in planning the season, taking into account the different measures that may be in place across Australia and New Zealand and remaining flexible in the face of these challenges.
“This includes managing border and travel restrictions and meeting the required health and safety protocols to ensure we can schedule a season that gives as many fans as possible the opportunity to attend games and does not unnecessarily impact financially on the clubs.
“At this stage we are still hoping to start the season in early December but we will be guided by the taskforce around scheduling.
“Playing as many games in front of fans remains a priority. They are the lifeblood of our clubs and we will do all that is possible to deliver a season that allows them to be part of it.”
NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said teams who couldn’t play at home for a period of time may be sent into a hub in another state.
“We need to stay nimble in our decision making and be prepared to consider all options whilst collaborating closely with the clubs and players to ensure we are meeting their needs,” Loeliger said.
“Importantly this taskforce comprises experts providing insight and perspective from so many different points of view, including sponsors, governments, medical experts, player advocates and of course our teams.
“We will continue to work closely with state and federal governments and their agencies, as well as venue owners for additional support. Clubs that cannot play in their home cities for a period of time may be required to relocate and we need to be prepared for all scenarios.
“The NBL has enjoyed tremendous growth over the past five seasons and is now considered one of the best leagues in the world outside of the NBA. We are determined to continue to build momentum and repay the faith fans have shown in us.”
NBL Return to Competition Taskforce: Graeme Wade, NBL Chairman; Larry Kestelman, NBL Owner and Executive Chairman; Jeremy Loeliger, NBL Commissioner; Jack Cowin, Hungry Jack’s Owner; Ruffy Geminder, Executive Chairman Pact Group and former NBL team owner; Dr Peter Harcourt, Basketball Australia Chief Medical Officer; Craig Hutchison, Melbourne United Owner; Grant Kelley, Adelaide 36ers Owner; Chris Lamont, NSW Small Business Commissioner; Chris Lamont, NSW Small Business Commissioner; Rob Marcolina, Qantas Executive and former Basketball Australia Chairman; Greg O’Neill OAM, ABPA Chairman, CEO La Trobe Financial; Glen Rainsbury, Live Entertainment Industry Forum.
Roy Ward is a Sports writer for The Age.