Tomorrow will be the start of July, as the NBA enters the month of its return to finish the 2019-20 season. Although players lose the prorated amount of their salary if they decide not to return, there have definitely been some notable players that have decided to sit out including the Brooklyn Nets’ DeAndre Jordan as well as the Los Angeles Lakers’ own, Avery Bradley. Bradley specifically was one of the more vocal players on the call a few weeks ago that was led by Kyrie Irving, as 80-100 players expressed concerns revolving around coronavirus risks and distracting the country from the Black Lives Matter movement. Another person on that call that was vocal was the Lakers’ Dwight Howard.
The NBA made June 24th a sort of “deadline date” for players to decide if they were to return. It was June 23rd when Bradley announced he would not be returning, with the status of Dwight being unknown at this point. Dwight’s status appears to be unknown to people in the Lakers organization just as much as it is unknown to us, as Lakers GM Rob Pelinka stated today that even he is “unclear” about whether or not Dwight is going to come back.
Lakers GM Rob Pelinka says on a Zoom call with media members that Dwight Howard’s status remains unclear for Orlando and that he’s working through concerns with him and his agent.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 30, 2020
Losing Bradley will definitely impact the Lakers on the court, but losing Howard may prove to be even more impactful as he has really been able to anchor bench lineups as a formidable center, especially while Anthony Davis would be on the bench.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Dwight sat out, as stated previously, he has been very vocal about making sure the players are “united” whether they play or sit-out as they proceed this year. Aside from that, he has had an especially extenuating quarantine under the global pandemic of coronavirus, as the mother of his son passed away early in May.
We’ll keep you updated on any more developments surrounding Dwight. Lakers players are supposed to report to training camp tomorrow.