Avery Bradley opts out of joining Lakers in Orlando for season resumption

Avery Bradley
LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 27: Avery Bradley #11 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball against the Charlotte Hornets on October 27, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Avery Bradley has decided not to join the team as the NBA is set to resume their 2019-20 season in Orlando in July. Bradley played in 49 games for the Lakers this season, starting 44 of them.

Bradley made the announcement to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, citing his family’s health and safety as his main concern:

More from Bradley, via Woj:

“As committed to my Lakers teammates and the organization as I am, I ultimately play basketball for my family. And so, at a time like this, I can’t imagine making any decision that might put my family’s health and well-being at even the slightest risk.

“As promised also, I will use this time away to focus on the formation of projects to help strengthen my communities.”

Bradley had previously been at the forefront of a players’ coalition seeking to force the NBA to address issues of social injustice and systemic racism amidst public unrest the past month due to several killings of unarmed Black men and women at the hands of police. Lakers’ center Dwight Howard also publicly voiced his concern over the season resuming and taking focus away from important issues.

Bradley’s absence will mean the Lakers will have to rely on the likes of Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope taking on the load at the point guard position. The Lakers also signed Dion Waiters before the league was shut down due to Coronavirus concerns but he has yet to appear in a game for the team.

While the Lakers will miss Bradley’s defensive tenacity on the court, we have to respect the decision to put his family first especially with growing concerns that the COVID-19 infection rate is increasing across the country and in Florida, in particular.

The Lakers will now also have the option to look to the free agency market to replace Bradley for the remainder of the season.

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