Lakers guard Avery Bradley has opted not to participate in the NBA’s restart this summer, and now the Western Conference’s No. 1 team will have to wait to see if any other players follow suit. Veteran big man Dwight Howard, like Bradley, has talked this month about not wanting the resumed season to draw attention away from social justice movements, but hasn’t yet confirmed his plans for the summer.
Addressing Howard’s status in a conversation with Harrison Sanford on the Inside The Green Room podcast (video link), Lakers guard Danny Green suggested that his teammate is going through personal issues unrelated to social justice, including the recent death of his six-year-old son’s mother.
“There’s just some things that are bigger than basketball,” Green said. “You never know what’s going on with guys’ families. And just hearing the background of what Dwight is going through, I understood fully (why he’d consider not playing). … There’s more than just one issue, more than one thing that’s going on in his life besides the protests… There’s a lot of other things that are going on behind the scenes that people don’t know about.”
Green added that he does still expect Howard to participate in the restart this summer, but stressed that he and his teammates would have the veteran center’s back if he decides against playing.
Here’s more from around the Pacific:
- In an Insider-only ESPN.com article, Kevin Pelton examines how the Lakers will deal with Bradley’s absence in Orlando, suggesting that Green and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could assume some of his defensive responsibilities, with Alex Caruso perhaps playing a larger role in the backcourt as well.
- With the Kings looking to play more small ball, a veteran swingman like Corey Brewer – who spent time with the team last season – is a good fit, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic. Jones notes that Brewer probably won’t play a major role this summer, but suggests the 34-year-old will give the team a reliable perimeter defender off the bench.
- Although there’s only a 14% chance that the Warriors will get the No. 1 selection in this year’s draft, they’re better positioned than any other team to get a top pick. With that in mind, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, Mike Schmitz, and Bobby Marks (Insider link) consider which prospects Golden State should be targeting and what trade options the club might have with its top-five pick.