NBA Players Who Have Opted Out Of The NBA Restart (And Their Replacements)

The highly anticipated NBA restart is facing a lot of obstacles.  Of late the most serious of the obstacles is the number of NBA players who have opted out of the NBA restart.  While there are varying reasons for players to opt out, the fact is the NBA will be out without some of their star players and many of the 22 teams involved in the restart will be missing players who were starters before the season was suspended earlier this year because of Covid-19.

As of Thursday, July 2nd, 25 players have tested positive for COvid-19, totaling about a 7.1 percent rate of the 351 players expected to report when the NBA restart happens. The NBA season is set to resume at the Disney resort in Orlando on July 30 after being on hiatus since March 11th after an outbreak of the virus with the Utah Jazz.  The league recently announced that scrimmages would start on July 22nd.

The playoffs are set to begin August 17, with the last possible Finals date being October 13.

It should be noted that the whole plan for an NBA restart can go bust if these new cases continue to surge across the country or if more players start to come down with the virus.  Until that happens, it will be intriguing to track the players who have opted out of the NBA restart and who their teams replace them with.

Let’s start with players who are injured, so they wouldn’t be able to make it anyway:


Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets top that list.  It would have been intriguing to see if they would have come back to make a push for the playoffs and maybe a surprise chance at a championship.  But it seems like both are opting to continue to heal and focus on the 2020-2021 season, which as of now, will start in December.

John Wall and Bradley Beal, both of the Washington Wizards also won’t be returning to their team.

Family Concerns

Wilson Chandler, Brooklyn Nets
He’s said that he wants to spend time with his grandmother and 3 children.

Willie Cauley-Stein, Dallas Mavericks
The Center is expecting a child in July and doesn’t want to be away from his family for an uncertain amount of time.

Avery Bradley, Los Angeles Lakers
He was one of the first players to opt out.  His concerns relate to his young child who has a pre-existing medical condition.

Trevor Ariza, Portland Trail Blazers
Just signed midway this season, the defensive specialist with scoring ability won’t make it for the NBA restart because he is in a custody battle and would rather not mess with his visitation time with his 12 year old son.

Personal Reasons

Davis Bertans, Washington Wizards
The power forward is a free agent after this season and since Washington really has no business being out in Orlando anyway, he has opted to not mess with his future money.

Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers (pictured above)
One of the biggest names of healthy players sitting out, Oladipo doesn’t want to risk injury.  The former All-Star was injured when this season originally began, but returned to play in January.  He is the most recent player to say that he is opting out of the NBA restart.  The Pacers are currently the 5th team in the East, but they aren’t favored to go far in the tournament.

DeAndre Jordan, Brooklyn Nets
One of several Nets players opting out, Jordan recently tested positive for the virus. He has plenty of time to heal, but is choosing to focus on next season.
Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets, also tested positive but has yet to say if he will make the trip to Orlando.

Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers back-up center has indicated that he will not make it to Orlando, but the Lakers have decided to keep his spot open just in case he decides to come later.


J.R. Smith, Los Angeles Lakers
J.R. is the biggest replacement that has already been named.  Smith replaces Avery Bradley in the line-up.  The plan is for him to come off the bench as of now, but that may change.


Image Credit:  Lars Niki / Stringer – Getty Images North America

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Kevin Benoit

Kevin Benoit is the editor of Parlé Magazine. He founded the magazine while in college and continues to run it today. Follow him on IG: @parlewithme Read more articles by Kevin.

Kevin Benoit has 1788 posts and counting. See all posts by Kevin Benoit


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