The NBA’s bottom eight teams are finally participating in group workouts this week as part of the second phase of the league’s in-market bubble plan to get those clubs some organized offseason activities to tide them over to the 2020/21 season. However, those activities are voluntary and not every player on the bottom eight rosters is in attendance.
One of the more notable absences is in New York, where Knicks center Mitchell Robinson isn’t taking part in the team’s mini-camp, per Ian Begley of SNY.tv. As Begley details, Robinson participated in individual workouts last week but will be absent from the group portion of the camp for personal reasons. The big man doesn’t have COVID-19, sources tell Begley.
Robinson’s absence from the mini-camp is unfortunate for the Knicks because he’s under contract for multiple seasons and these sessions are mostly aimed at getting teams’ young, core players some extra reps in practices and scrimmages. Participation from established veteran players is less crucial, so it’s no surprise that Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Draymond Green have been excused from Golden State’s in-market bubble camp for family reasons, as Nick Friedell of ESPN writes.
“A lot of guys are going to get a lot better and really thrive in this environment,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “I’m not worried about Steph and Draymond; I know how hard they work and I know they’ll be prepared for next season.”
Impending free agency is another logical reason why certain players would opt to forgo these offseason team activities. In Atlanta, for example, Jeff Teague, DeAndre’ Bembry, Treveon Graham, and Damian Jones – all of whom are on expired contracts – aren’t with the Hawks in their bubble, according to Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Dewayne Dedmon also isn’t participating in the team’s group activities, Spencer adds.
We’ve previously passed along details on players from the other five teams who aren’t taking part in these in-market camps. That list includes Kris Dunn for the Bulls; Juan Hernangomez, Evan Turner, and Omari Spellman for the Timberwolves; Bismack Biyombo and Nicolas Batum for the Hornets; Andre Drummond, Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova, and Cedi Osman for the Cavaliers; and Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Christian Wood, and Langston Galloway for the Pistons.