Bill Simmons discusses the NBA's media rights deal on 'The Bill Simmons Podcast.' Screen grab: ‘The Bill Simmons Podcast’

Bill Simmons hears things.

And when it comes to the NBA’s media rights negotiations, the Sports Guy believes it’s a done deal.

On the latest episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, Simmons and Ryen Russillo discussed the predicament the Cleveland Cavaliers face in potentially signing Evan Mobley to a rookie max extension. That led The Ringer co-founder to share his belief that the league’s salary cap is about to explode, primarily thanks to its new media rights deal, which he believes has been completed.

“One of the funniest things ever is that we’re all pretending that the TV deal wasn’t done like a week and a half ago,” Simmons said. “I think it’s done. I think Warner [Bros. Discovery] already lost it. And I don’t know why we’re waiting until after the playoffs, maybe that’s how they have to do it. But it’s a wrap. NBC’s getting it. I’m just telling you.”

When it comes to the NBA’s next media rights deal, Simmons has been ahead of the curve, especially when it comes to Warner Bros. Discovery potentially being on the outside looking in. But while the idea of the NBA not having a presence on TNT seemed unfathomable a mere month ago, it’s increasingly beginning to look like a reality, with league having reportedly agreed to deals with Disney (ESPN) and Amazon, with Comcast (NBC) prepared to outbid WBD for the league’s third and final package.

At this point, we know the NBA is likely to at least double the total of its previous media rights deal, with the biggest question remaining being how WBD’s matching rights might affect all — or any — of this. There’s also the matter of what TNT losing the NBA would mean for Inside the NBA, with Charles Barkley and Co. reportedly having the ability to exit their deals should the network lose its piece of the league’s rights package.

But between Simmons’ comments on his latest podcast and Barkley stating nearly two weeks ago that he expected WBD to announce its decision imminently, the NBA announcing a new — and TNT-less — media rights deal appears to be on the horizon. From there, there will surely be no shortage of fallout, especially as it relates to TNT losing its most valuable property and the NBA returning to NBC’s airwaves.

[The Bill Simmons Podcast]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.