The 2019-20 NBA season will resume at Disney World on July 30, with teams set to travel to Orlando next week. The plan is facing a number of obstacles, though, as coronavirus cases surge in Florida and protests against police brutality and systemic racism have led to widespread demands for social justice reform.
With such valid concerns, the league has stated that no players will be forced to go to Orlando, nor will they be in breach of their contract if they decide not to go. However, unless said player is declared "excused" or "protected" for health reasons, they will not be paid for the games they miss. "Excused" or "protected" players will not have their salary reduced if they don't play.
A one-week transaction window opened on June 23, allowing all 30 teams to sign or waive players, as well as convert two-way players to full contracts. Players who did not play in the NBA this season will be allowed to sign deals -- for example, J.R. Smith and Jamal Crawford were eligible -- but those who played overseas cannot join a club.
From July 1 until Aug. 14 -- the end of the regular season or "seeding" games -- teams in Orlando will continue to be allowed to sign replacement players for anyone who tests positive for the virus or decides to sit out.
So far, we have already seen players including Victor Oladipo, DeAndre Jordan, Davis Bertans, Trevor Ariza and Avery Bradley decide to sit out. Bradley Beal and Spencer Dinwiddie are the latest names to join the list. Beal will sit due to a shoulder injury while Dinwiddie will opt out after a second positive coronavirus test. In addition, two coaches will not be making their way to Orlando. Lakers assistant Lionel Hollins was red-flagged by the league for medical reasons, according to a report from Chris Haynes of Yahoo, while Pelicans assistant Jeff Bzdelik informed New Orleans he won't make the trip, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
As the situation develops, here's a look at the players who won't be traveling to Orlando, as well as some who seem to be on the fence:
Taurean Prince -- G/F, Brooklyn Nets: Sitting Out
Yet another member of the Nets will not be traveling to Orlando. Taurean Prince has tested positive for the coronavirus and will not be traveling with the team, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Prince joins Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan, Wilson Chandler and Nic Claxton as Nets players who are out of the restart, either due to injury or positive tests.
Spencer Dinwiddie -- G, Brooklyn Nets: Sitting Out
After testing positive for the coronavirus last week and again on Monday, Dinwiddie and the Nets' team doctors decided it was best that he not travel to Orlando to play with the team, especially since he was symptomatic. Dinwiddie joins DeAndre Jordan, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Wilson Chandler and Nicolas Claxton as the sixth Nets player who will not travel with the team to Disney World.
"After another positive test yesterday, and considering the symptoms, the Brooklyn Nets, teams doctors and I have decided that it would be in the best interest for me and the team that I do not play in Orlando," Dinwiddie wrote on Twitter. "I will be supporting the guys every step of the way."
Bradley Beal -- G, Washington Wizards: Sitting Out
On the day that the Wizards are set to travel to Orlando to participate in the NBA's restart of the season, the team announced that the two-time All-Star won't be playing for the remainder of the season, and he also won't be traveling to Disney World. The decision came from Beal as well as the team's medical staff, as both sides thought it was best for him to fully recover from a right rotator cuff injury he's been dealing with all season.
"This was a difficult decision and one that I did not take lightly as the leader of this team," Beal said. "I wanted to help my teammates compete for a playoff spot in Orlando, but also understand that this will be best for all of us in the long term. I appreciate the support of my teammates, the fans and the entire organization and look forward to returning next season to continue the progress we have made."
Victor Oladipo -- G, Indiana Pacers: Sitting Out
The Pacers star will be traveling to Orlando with his team, but he won't be playing when the games start up again later this month. Oladipo, who returned from a torn quad tendon in January, announced on Friday that he is sitting out due to health concerns. Given his injury history, he doesn't feel comfortable playing under these new circumstances.
"I really want to play, and as a competitor and teammate this is tearing me apart," Oladipo said. "I feel like I'm at a great place in my rehab and getting closer and closer to 100 percent. With all the variables, from how I have to build my 5-on-5 workload back up, to the increased risk of a soft tissue injury which could delay my rehab, and the unknown exact set up of the bubble I just can't get my mind to being fully comfortable in playing. I have to be smart and this decision hasn't been easy, but I truly believe continuing on the course I'm on and getting fully healthy for the 2020-21 season is the right decision for me."
DeAndre Jordan -- C, Brooklyn Nets: Sitting Out
Jordan announced Monday that he would be sitting out after testing positive for COVID-19. "Found out last night and confirmed again today that I've tested positive for Covid while being back in market. As a result of this, I will not be in Orlando for the resumption of the season," Jordan tweeted. He is the fifth Nets player that has been ruled out for Orlando, joining Wilson Chandler, Nicolas Claxton, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Avery Bradley -- G, Los Angeles Lakers: Sitting Out
Bradley had previously joined with Kyrie Irving to lead a coalition of players demanding social justice reform not just from the broader world, but from the NBA. However, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the primary factor in Bradley's decision to sit out was the health of his son, who has struggled with respiratory illnesses in the past and was unlikely to be permitted within the bubble.
"As committed to my Lakers teammates and the organization as I am, I ultimately play basketball for my family," Bradley said. "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."
Davis Bertans -- F, Washington Wizards: Sitting out
Bertans was in the midst of a career season when the pandemic halted play, and as an impending free agent is set for the biggest payday of his life. As a result, he's wisely choosing to skip Orlando. Perhaps things would be different if the Wizards were a contender, but they'll need something of a miracle to even qualify for the playoffs, and if they do that their reward is likely getting smashed by the Milwaukee Bucks. With his injury history and the surging virus, there's no reason for Bertans to make the trip.
Trevor Ariza -- F, Portland Trail Blazers: Sitting out
One of the league's extensive health and safety protocols for the bubble environment mandates that no guests or family members will be allowed in Orlando until after the first round of the playoffs is complete. As a result, Trevor Ariza will not be joining the Trail Blazers. Due to a custody situation, Ariza will instead stay home to care for his son. It's a noble and extremely understandable decision.
Willie Cauley-Stein -- C, Dallas Mavericks: Sitting out
Mavericks center Willie Cauley-Stein has decided to sit out the resumed NBA season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Cauley-Stein and his partner are reportedly expecting a newborn child in July. In addition, Cauley-Stein also carries the sickle cell trait.
Wilson Chandler -- F, Brooklyn Nets: Sitting out
Nets forward Wilson Chandler has informed the team that he is opting out of playing at Disney, according to ESPN's Malika Andrews. With Kevin Durant out for the season, Chandler had a decent-sized role in Brooklyn's rotation and had even joined the starting lineup just before the season was shut down. "As difficult as it will be to not be with my teammates, the health and well-being of my family has to come first," Chandler said via Andrews. "Thank you to the Nets organization for understanding and supporting me in this decision, and I will be watching and rooting for our team in Orlando."
Thabo Sefolosha -- F, Houston Rockets: Sitting out
Rockets forward Thabo Sefolosha has opted out of the restart at Disney, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. No reason has been provided at this time. Sefolosha played only 10.6 minutes per game for the Rockets, so while he will be missed from a depth perspective, it will not be a major disruption to Houston's regular rotation as they position themselves for what they hope is a deep playoff run.
Zhaire Smith -- F, Philadephia 76ers: Injured
Smith has a bone bruise in his left knee, according to Derek Bodner of The Athletic, and will not travel to Orlando with the 76ers. He is expected to make a full recovery, but this is just the latest setback for Smith after a series of injuries has allowed him to play on 13 total games for Philadelphia since he was selected No. 15 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. He had not been a major member of Philadelphia's rotation to this point in his career.
Kyrie Irving -- G, Brooklyn Nets: Injured, in favor of not playing
Irving is out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery in March, so he won't be playing basketball anytime soon no matter what. But even if he was healthy, there are no guarantees we would see Irving on the floor in Orlando. The Nets guard has been one of the most vocal players in recent weeks, making it clear that playing basketball right now would be too much of a distraction from the myriad issues of police brutality and racial and social injustice. "I don't support going into Orlando," Irving reportedly said during a recent call with players. "I'm willing to give up everything I have (for social reform)."
Justise Winslow -- F, Memphis Grizzlies: Undecided
Winslow took a more direct approach than most players have so far, calling out both the league and the players association on social media for what he feels is a lack of care for their health and safety. "This s--- ain't even bout basketball or our safety anymore," Winslow wrote. "All about the Benjamins baby. Not sure if they really care if we get corona. FOH @nba @nbpa." During a discussion with Caron Butler, John Wall and Danny Green on the NBA's Twitter account, Winslow later added, "I don't know if it's the smartest way to come back right now. I'd love to fight this fight for social injustice and these other things, but to be completely honest, I'm a little iffy about Orlando."