Although some states in America are experiencing high spikes in coronavirus cases, the NBA is still set to resume the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney Resort in Orlando on July 30th. A transaction window for teams opened today (Lakers have not made any moves), while all players will have to return to training camps at their local facilities in preparation for their descent onto Florida.
Recently, concerns have been voiced from a large community of NBA players regarding the consequences of their return to the hardwood. Players were concerned about coronavirus, but were also worried about distracting America from the Black Lives Matter movement as protests of police brutality continue around the country. Kyrie Irving was the player reported to be the leader of these calls, but Lakers’ members Avery Bradley and Dwight Howard were both reported to be prominent in the conversations as well. All players have the option to not return (albeit while forgoing their salaries for the rest of the season), with it now being reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN that Wednesday, June 24th will be considered a “soft target date” for players to finally make their decision.
Wednesday is turning out to be a soft target date for players to opt-out of Orlando – unless they want to enter process to be placed on excused/protected list to keep salary. Teams are largely treating July 1 as deadline, which is when rosters of eligible players are due to NBA.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 23, 2020
He does not afterwards that July 1st is the widely accepted, official date to decide. Wojnarowski highlights that the players would have to go through a process that they might not want to go through, returning to his initial point of Wednesday being an important date to look out for.
Davis Bertans of the Washington Wizards recently decided not to come back given his pending free agency and not wanting to get injured for very (very) slim playoff chances for the Wizards. It remains to be seen whether or not Dwight Howard and Avery Bradley are considering not re-joining the Lakers soon, but I guess we will have to wait and see. Although the two aren’t LeBron James or Anthony Davis, both have been very solid contributors for the Lakers. The team would definitely be negatively impacted without one of them, becoming a much less talented team without both of them.