The NBA is on its way back in July, but that certainly does not mean every eligible player will step foot on the court. From health and safety concerns to social justice issues, there are numerous reasons players may opt out of the NBA's restart plan.
Some already have, but here are six players who should definitely sit out the rest of the 2020 season. And they're running out of time, too, because the unofficial deadline is Wednesday.
6. Justise Winslow
The Grizzlies have been an exciting team this season, but it feels one year too soon for a deep playoff run. A crucial piece to their success was envisioned to be Justise Winslow, but a back injury has put his health in question. He has doubted the logistics of the Orlando bubble as well. Both of those factors mean that Winslow should stay on the sidelines, gearing up for a Grizzlies ascension next season.
5. Devin Booker
There is very little at stake for the Suns in the return. It would be stunning if they were to jump up to the eighth seed, and losing a single game in the play-in period knocks them out of the playoffs. Is it worth making the effort to travel all the way to Orlando to play for less than a week? No, and Devin Booker, in the prime of his career, has no reason to take the risk either.
4. Bradley Beal
Beal has nothing left to prove this season. His 30.5 points per game made his deserving of an All-Star spot that he was unjustly denied. The Wizards? They are unlikely to earn a playoff spot either. With teammate Davis Bertans already announcing he will not be coming to Orlando and John Wall putting to bed any hopes of a return, Beal would be right to do the same.
3. CJ McCollum
The Blazers are the team under fire here, but there is good reason. McCollum, like Lillard, has been a skeptic of the NBA's restart plan and openly admitted that he voted "No" on the idea, while commending his team for doing the same. This simply isn't the year for Portland, for both their playoff position, injuries, and of course the larger situation at hand.
2. Damian Lillard
An outspoken critic of the NBA's restart plan, Lillard should stick to his word and sit out the rest of the season. The Blazers are a team destroyed by injuries with very little chance of making a run in the playoffs. It would make far more sense to sit out the remainder of the year, rehab and prepare to compete in the West next season.
1. Dwight Howard
Howard and teammate Avery Bradley, who has already opted out of the restart, both saw the idea of playing basketball as unfitting in the current age. Danny Green believed that both Bradley and Howard would return to the floor, but he was already wrong about one, while also implying that Howard has much more on his plate than people know about. Howard is best served focusing on what is most important to himself and staying off the court this summer.