BEN ANDERSON

NBA Players Sitting Out Of League’s Orlando Return

Jul 7, 2020, 1:52 PM | Updated: Jul 14, 2020, 11:30 am
Bojan Boganovic - Ankle Injury - Utah Jazz...
Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Utah Jazz holds his ankle during an opening night game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Vivint Smart Home Arena on October 23, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The list of NBA players sitting out of the league’s return in Orlando continues to grow. Teams begin traveling to The Walt Disney World Resorts Tuesday, forcing players to make their final decision on their future. While players can opt to end their season at any point, each team’s traveling party to Orlando has been finalized. This is a running list of players who have been declared out for the NBA’s return.

Milwaukee Bucks

Despite shutting down the Bucks practice facility on Sunday due to a positive COVID-19 test, Milwaukee hasn’t announced that any players will be sitting out the return of the NBA season. The Bucks are one of the favorites to win the championship in Orlando.

According to co-owner Marc Lasry, “Every single one of our guys is going to be down there.”

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors were never able to return to Canada to resume individual workouts due to COVID-19. However, the team has been in Orlando since July 1 preparing for the league’s return. Despite growing numbers of cases around Orlando, no players withing the Raptors have publicly tested positive since the team’s arrival.

To date, no Raptors players are sitting out of the return of the NBA season.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics were early first teams to have players publicly test positive for COVID-19. Guard Marcus Smart announced his positive test on social media soon after the league’s hiatus.

No Celtics players have announced their intention to skip the NBA’s return.

Miami Heat

According to Miami Heat Coach Eric Spoelstra, the Miami Heat expect to have their full 17-man roster intact when games return in Orlando.

However, reports emerged earlier this week that three Miami Heat players have tested positive for the virus. Derrick Jones Jr. had previously tested positive but will travel with the team to Orlando. The other two players may have to wait to join the team.

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers could be one of the most heavily impacted teams upon the league’s return to Orlando. Despite locking up a playoff berth, the team might be without Victor Oladipo. The star guard continues to rehab from a torn quad tendon and said he didn’t feel comfortable returning to action.

However, reports indicate Oladipo may not be eligible to receive the remainder of his salary if he doesn’t finish the season, and may return to the Pacers roster.

Teammate Malcolm Brogdon tested positive for the virus in June but plans to join the Pacers in their return.

Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers have had one of the league’s more disappointing seasons. Despite retooling the roster in the offseason, the team struggled to capitalize on it near Eastern Conference Finals appearance last summer.

The 76ers will be mostly healthy when they travel to Orlando. To date, only little-used guard Zhaire Smith has plans of skipping the league’s return.

Brooklyn Nets

No team has been more greatly impacted by the coronavirus before heading to Orlando than the Nets. Neither Kyrie Irving for Kevin Durant will join the team as they continue to rehab from previous injuries.

Over the last two weeks, Wilson Chandler, DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Taurean Prince have all announced they will be skipping the return of the season in Orlando.

Orlando Magic

Despite living in one of the largest coronavirus hotbeds in the county, no players from the Orlando Magic have announced their intention of skipping the NBA return.

Washington Wizards

Along with the Nets, the Wizards are one of the NBA teams most greatly impacted by players sitting out the season’s return.

Forward Davis Bertans was one of the first players to announce he would skip the remaining season despite a clean bill of health. Tuesday, guard Bradley Beal announced he was sitting out the remainder of the NBA season.

The Wizards sit 5.5 games back of the Magic for the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Los Angeles Lakers

Despite owning the best record in the Western Conference, the Lakers will be without guard Avery Bradley. Bradley announced he was sitting out of the Lakers Orlando return.

Meanwhile, center Dwight Howard announced he would be returning to Orlando in spite of previous hesitation. Assistant coach Lionel Hollins will be sitting out of the NBA return after being deemed high risk for COVID-19.

Los Angeles Clippers

A fellow favorite to win the NBA Finals in Orlando, no Los Angeles Clippers players have announced their intention of sitting out.

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets are one of several NBA teams that chose to shut down their practice facility after positive COVID-19 tests.

Center Nikola Jokic remains in his native Serbia after testing positive for the virus in June. Despite the positive tests, no Nuggets players are reportedly sitting out of when the NBA returns.

According to Yahoo Sports Chris Haynes, Gary Harris, Michael Porter Jr. and Torrey Craig have yet to make the trip to the Orlando campus.

Utah Jazz

The Jazz were the first team to have players test positive for the virus. Rudy Gobert’s positive test forced the NBA to suspend its season. Guard Donovan Mitchell tested positive the next morning.

Forward Bojan Bogdanovic underwent wrist surgery in May and will be sitting out the team’s return. However, the rest of the Jazz roster plans on returning to Orlando.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Every member of the Thunder roster expects to join the team in Orlando. Two-way guard Lu Dort signed a full-time contract extension during the NBA hiatus to remain with the team.

Houston Rockets

The Rockets will be without forward Thabo Sefolosha when they return to finish the season in Orlando. Houston replaced Sefolosha with forward Luc Mbah a Moute in his absence.

Head Coach Mike D’Antoni said he plans to join the team despite his age. The coach said he will wear a mask while he’s on the sidelines.

Point guard Russell Westbrook tested positive for COVID-19 before entering the bubble. He is expected to join the roster at a later date.

Guard James Harden has yet to enter the Orlando campus.

Dallas Mavericks

Mavericks center Willie Cauley-Stein will be sitting out Dallas’ when the NBA returns in Orlando. The big man is expecting the birth of his child in July.

Dallas signed guard Trey Burke to join the team in Orlando. Meanwhile, guard Courtney Lee will also miss the remainder of the season with a calf injury.

Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies own the eighth seed in the Western Conference and will have to fight for their lives to maintain it. That will be aided by the fact that no Grizzlies player has announced their plan to skip the Orlando return.

Portland Trail Blazers

The Trail Blazers will be without forwards Trevor Ariza and Caleb Swanigan when they return to the floor.

All-Star guard Damian Lillard and forward Carmelo Anthony expressed hesitancy about returning but will be with the roster in Orlando.

New Orleans Pelicans

Of teams not seriously considered contenders to win a championship, no team has more to play for than the Pelicans. With a healthy Zion Williamson, New Orleans is hoping to play its way into a first-round playoff matchup with the Lakers in Orlando.

The Pelicans expect to be fully intact when they return to Orlando.

Sacramento Kings

The Kings have been hit hard by the coronavirus. Three players, Jabari Parker, Alex Len, and Buddy Hield have all tested positive for COVID-19. Over the weekend, another member of the organization tested positive, leading the team to shut down its practice facility.

To date, no players have announced their intention to sit out the remainder of the NBA season.

San Antonio Spurs

LaMarcus Aldridge is the lone San Antonio Spurs player who won’t be joining the team in Orlando. Despite low odds of qualifying for the playoffs, the majority of the San Antonio Roster will appear at the Disney resorts.

Phoenix Suns

The Suns will enter the Orlando bubble without forward Kelly Oubre. Oubre is rehabbing from a knee injury and won’t make the trip.

Coach Monty Williams reported that the rest of his roster is healthy and expected to play in Orlando.

This list will be updated throughout the NBA season. 

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