Crucial Thunder backup guard Dennis Schröder has announced that he will leave the NBA’s Orlando restart campus in “three or four weeks” to join his pregnant wife for the birth of their second child, according to Royce Young of ESPN (Twitter link).
“I love basketball, but the family comes first all the time,” Schröder said of his decision to eventually, albeit temporarily, leave the Thunder during the season’s restart (link). “I’ll try to make something happen with the organization…. I’m not going to leave my wife by herself while she’s [having] the second baby. [Son Dennis Malick Schröder Jr.] is still 17 months old.”
Missing Schröder for any extended period of time would be a big blow for Oklahoma City as the club battles for playoff seeding in the West’s crowded middle tier. The team, currently the No. 5 seed with a 40-24 record, currently own the tiebreaker over the sixth-seeded Rockets, who possess the same record.
Schröder, a top contender for the Sixth Man of the Year award, ranks third on the Thunder in average minutes per game (31.0), behind All-Star Chris Paul (31.8) and promising second-year guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (35.1). Coach Billy Donovan has seen great results when playing all three players, each nominally a point guard, together.
A player who receives permission to leave the Disney campus for a family situation will be required to quarantine for four days upon returning, as long as he’s gone for fewer than seven days and tests negative for COVID-19 each day that he’s away.