Haywood: Avery Bradley Opting Out "For The Right Reasons"

The NBA will soon return to action, but Lakers guard Avery Bradley will not due to the well-being of his family

Tiki and Tierney
June 24, 2020 - 6:16 pm
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The NBA will soon return to action, but Lakers guard Avery Bradley will not. Bradley, who started 44 games for Los Angeles this season, will remain with his family due to the well-being of his 6-year-old son, Liam, who has respiratory issues. Bradley joins Portland's Trevor Ariza and Washington's Davis Bertans who will sit out the rest of the season.

CBS Sports and NBA TV analyst Brendan Haywood believes other players could follow suit.

“I think we’re going to see a lot more guys [not play],” Haywood said on Tiki & Tierney. “I’m not saying it’s going to be a couple hundred, but there will some guys for certain reasons [who] say they don’t want to play.”

From impending free agency to COVID-19, there are risks players will have to consider.

“Some of these guys are looking at the situation and they’re like, ‘I’m not going to get a full camp, I’m probably not going to be in the best shape, but I’m going to be playing high-level NBA basketball. I could tear something, rip something and I could get COVID all at the same time?’” Haywood said. “If there’s a lot of money on the line, some guys are not going to want to do that, and then there’s going to be other guys [who opt out because of COVID]. This isn’t the last of guys that will be opting out. There will be some more guys that will opt out.

Bradley, a former first-round pick, averaged 8.6 points and 2.3 rebounds for the Lakers (49-14), who have the best record in the Western Conference. His decision to not finish the season speaks volumes.

“We’re in uncharted territory,” Haywood said. “I’ve never seen a team have a chance to win a championship and they had a player say, ‘I don’t want to play.’ When you’re on one of those teams that has a chance to win it and you don’t want to play, that tells you there’s a real problem. We haven’t been in anything like this before. I don’t think the locker room is going to look down on anybody. You can’t look down on Avery Bradley for saying, ‘My son has a respiratory problem, and I don’t want to risk it.’ I don’t think anybody is going to be saying that.”

Lakers big man Dwight Howard, meanwhile, is also thinking of opting out of the NBA restart.

“I think that’s more of an interesting dynamic,” Haywood said. “I don’t think guys will be mad at Avery Bradley because he’s not playing, though, because it’s for the right reasons.”