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Which NBA players are sitting out NBA restart at Disney World?

Which NBA players are sitting out NBA restart at Disney World?

Between concerns over the rising number of coronavirus cases in Florida, upcoming free agency, inherent injury risks with playing after a four-month layoff and the issues Kyrie Irving has raised regarding the Black Lives Matter movement, it's understandable that some players may opt to sit out the unprecedented restart at Disney World. 

Players have until June 24 to notify their team that they aren't playing and we've already seen a few players opting to sit out. Here's a running list of NBA players who are reportedly not planning to play in Orlando later this summer.

Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers: Oladipo told The Athletic that he is sitting out the NBA restart in order to focus on fully working his way back from a torn quad tendon that he suffered in January 2019. He returned for 13 games this season before the NBA was shut down but has opted not to ramp back up in order to play in Orlando.

DeAndre Jordan, Brookly Nets: Jordan announced himself that he tested positive for COVID-19 and because of it will be foregoing the restart in Orlando. 

Wilson Chandler, Brooklyn Nets: Siting the health and well-being of his family, Chandler informed the Nets he would not be participating in the season's restart, according to ESPN's Malika Andrews

Willie Cauley-Stein, Dallas Mavericks: According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Mavs' center is expecting the birth of his child in July, so he will not be going to Orlando.

Avery Bradley, Los Angeles Lakers: Bradley elected not to play in Orlando due to his six-year-old son's past struggles with respiratory illnesses. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, it was unlikely Bradley would've been medically cleared to enter the bubble with his family.  

DeMarcus Cousins, FA: Despite interest from multiple teams, Cousins reportedly plans to sit out the restart to continue his rehab from a torn ACL.

Trevor Ariza, Portland Trail Blazers: Ariza is reportedly involved in a custody case for his 12-year-old son. He decided not to participate in the NBA restart in order to be with his son during a one-month visitation period that coincided with the season schedule.

Davis Bertans, Washington Wizards: Bertans opted not to play in Florida to prevent injury before he hits free agency. Bertans is in line for a big contract and has torn his ACL twice in the past. 

John Wall, Washington Wizards: Some hoped the season's delay would mean Wall could return to the floor for a playoff run alongside Bradley Beal. Even though Wall has said he's 110% healthy, he remains focused on returning next season. 

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets: Similar to Wall, Durant was expected to miss the entire 2019-20 season with an Achilles injury and will not return despite being afforded extra time to recover. 

Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets: Irving has stated he's against playing in Orlando amid the Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd, but he's also still recovering from a shoulder injury and is not expected to play. 

Bojan Bogdanovic, Utah Jazz: Bogdanovic underwent season-ending wrist surgery in May and will not play in Orlando, according to ESPN

LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs: Aldridge will miss out on the season restart as well thanks to season-ending shoulder surgery, per ESPN.

Kelly Oubre Jr., Phoenix Suns: Oubre suffered a meniscus injury in March and underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair his right knee.

This post will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Moe Wagner had to get creative to train during quarantine with a hoop in his driveway

Moe Wagner had to get creative to train during quarantine with a hoop in his driveway

Playing basketball in your driveway, that is relatable. Doing so to prepare for NBA games while in the middle of a league shutdown due to a worldwide pandemic; well, that is unusual.

But for Wizards center Moe Wagner, training during quarantine required some creativity before the team reopened their practice facility in early June. First, he rented out the townhouse below his to set up a workout space. It was vacant, allowing Wagner to use training equipment with enough space for a 7-footer to move around.

"We set up a little gym," Wagner said.

Wagner's schedule was regimented by Zoom workouts hosted by the Wizards trainers and coaching staff. But eventually, that wasn't enough.

Wagner had his brother, Franz, with him. Franz plays for the University of Michigan, where Wagner starred before becoming a first round draft pick in 2018.

"Eventually my brother and I got a little eager to shoot a ball, so my agent had us sent a basketball hoop for outside which we built. It took us like three days," Wagner explained.

"We played a little bit in the garage in the middle of the city. It was kind of an absurd situation, but you will take what you can get, I guess."

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The garage Wagner and his brother played in was without a roof. They are common in Washington, D.C., especially in Northeast. So, it was technically a garage but more like a walled off driveway.

"[We] set it up in my back alley. Every time a car drives by, you have to wait. Obviously, it's very old school. You're going back to the roots a little bit. But after six weeks of not touching a ball, you're like 'we've gotta do something, man.' I'm a professional basketball player and I haven't touched a basketball in six weeks. That ain't right," Wagner said.

RELATED: WIZARDS WILL FACE LAKERS, CLIPPERS IN SCRIMMAGES

Waiting when cars drive by makes sense. Driveways are big enough for kids to shoot around in. But Wagner requires a bit more range to spread out and practice NBA threes.

Wagner indicated he did not shoot a ball for roughly six weeks. That would mean he set the hoop up around the end of April. If that is the case, he was likely more fortunate than many other young players who went longer without being able to shoot.

That's the big variable with the league's hiatus; who had the resources to train, either to just stay sharp or potentially even improve. Wagner was able to keep working on his game, it just took a good deal of creativity. 

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Wizards will face Lakers, Clippers in Orlando's NBA exhibition schedule

Wizards will face Lakers, Clippers in Orlando's NBA exhibition schedule

Before the Wizards begin their eight-game schedule to close out the regular season on July 31, they will have three exhibition games to get warmed up in Orlando.

They will start July 22 against the Denver Nuggets and also play the Lakers and Clippers. Those are the three top seeds in the Western Conference.

Here is a look at their three-game set:

7/22: Nuggets, 3:30 pm ET
7/25: Clippers, 8 pm ET
7/27: Lakers, 3 pm ET

The question here, of course, is whether the stars will play given these games won't count. In a usual preseason, the answer would probably be 'no.' But in this case, with each team only having three games to find their rhythm before games start, and after months off, it is anyone's guess.

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It wouldn't be surprising if the Wizards did see some combination of Nikola Jokic, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The biggest question mark would be that Lakers game since it is the last exhibition game for both teams. Maybe James and/or Davis sit with two games already under their belt and an opening night meeting with the Clippers awaiting.

Either way, the Wizards will get a look at some of the NBA's best teams before they kick things off for real. And this also means they will be playing games nine days ahead of their regular season. There are now just under three weeks to go until the Wizards return to the court.

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