The NBA season is still planning to return for 22 teams at the end of July, but certain players have already said they will not be playing.
On Monday, ESPN reported that Washington’s Davis Bertans and Portland’s Trevor Ariza are declining to play, but neither of these squads is expected to make a serious run at the title.
But yesterday (Tuesday), a key guy from the team that is favored to win the whole thing, also announced that he will not return. It’s Los Angeles Lakers’ guard Avery Bradley and he explained his thinking in the following statement (source ESPN).
“As committed to my Lakers teammates and the organization as I am, I ultimately play basketball for my family. 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.”
Bradley is a 29-year-old veteran who is in his 10th season. He has started in 44 of the 49 games he’s played in this year, averaging 8.6 PPG. Those point totals might seem easy to replace, but he’s the type of player who fits in very well next to LeBron James as he’s doesn’t demand the ball and is willing to play any role to win.
Lakers are favored to win the NBA Title
The Lakers are the +242 favorite to win the NBA title at Winning Poker Network sportsbooks. The Milwaukee Bucks (+285) and Los Angeles Clippers (+290) are pretty close behind. The fourth team in Houston (+1252) is way behind that.
The Bradley news has not affected the future odds in any significant way, but it could become a bigger factor depth-wise if another player gets hurts early during the return.