On Tuesday, Avery Bradley, Trevor Ariza, and Davis Bertans opted-out of playing the rest of the NBA season in Orlando.
What we know:
- The NBA’s restart plan in Orlando faces many obstacles as the start date of July 30 approaches. The league is citing concerns like the coronavirus surge in Florida, nationwide protests, and players’ individual priorities. Avery Bradley of the Los Angeles Lakers, Trevor Ariza of the Portland Trail Blazers, and Davis Bertans of the Washington Wizards all informed their respective teams on Tuesday that they will not be playing in Orlando.
- Bertans informed the Wizards of his decision to avoid a career-threatening injury. The 2019-2020 season was the best season of Bertans’ career so far and he will be a free agent this fall. Bertans has a history of serious injuries and is looking for the payday of his life in free agency.
- Ariza will not join the Trail Blazers in order to spend time with his child. He is committing to a one-month visitation window with his son. The NBA will not allow families or visitors inside the bubble until after the first round of the playoffs.
- Bradley was one of the loudest voices advocating for players not wanting the season to resume. He led a coalition of players with Kyrie Irving voicing their concerns about coronavirus and racial justice. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Bradley’s primary motivation for sitting out is his son, who has a history of respiratory illnesses. Bradley said “I can’t imagine making any decision that might put my family’s health and well-being at even the slightest risk.”
- The deadline for players to inform their teams if they are going to Orlando is June 24. The NBA will not punish any player who chooses to sit out the rest of the season. However, players will not receive pay for missed games unless the league designates them “excused” or “protected” for health reasons.
As the June 24 deadline comes and goes, several players are still on the fence. Players like Victor Oladipo and Dwight Howard are still undecided.