Seven players so far have opted out of the NBA’s restart this summer, but Clippers guard Lou Williams is unlikely to join that group. Despite previously expressing uncertainty about his status, Williams is expected to suit up for the Clippers as they pursue a title at Walt Disney World, head coach Doc Rivers said on Wednesday.
“As far as Lou, all indications (are) that yes, he is (playing),” Rivers said on a Zoom call, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com. “Obviously, up until we get on the plane, anything can happen. But I do expect Lou to be with us. I would be very surprised if he’s not.”
Meanwhile, another high-scoring guard, Bradley Beal, remains uncertain about his status for Orlando, as Youngmisuk writes in a separate story. Beal’s teammate Davis Bertans has already pulled out due to injury concerns ahead of his upcoming free agency. Beal’s backcourt mate and fellow All-Star John Wall won’t be in attendance either, as he continues to focus on his Achilles rehab and a 2020/21 return.
According to Youngmisuk, Beal is considering health factors too as he weighs his options.
“I have yet to make (my decision),” Beal told reporters on Wednesday. “I am still working my tail off every single day as if I am playing. It is more or less a decision that will come down to the medical staff and coming back from zero to 100, and then I have some nagging stuff from the end of the year that we are trying to clean up, too. We are looking at it from all angles. I am definitely working out every single day here. It is good to be back in the facility. … I am not swayed one way or another.”
Here’s more on certain players’ participation decisions:
- Pacers guard Justin Holiday, who was previously reported to be on the fence about whether to play this summer, announced this week in a Players’ Tribune piece that he’ll participate in the restart even as he continues to fight for social-justice causes.
- The Nets have been hit hardest by injuries and defections so far — they’ll be without Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Nicolas Claxton due to injuries, and Wilson Chandler and DeAndre Jordan are opting out of the restart. Spencer Dinwiddie is also still weighing his decision after a positive COVID-19 test, but outside of possibly Dinwiddie, general manager Sean Marks doesn’t anticipate any more opt-outs, writes Malika Andrews of ESPN.
- Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins said during a Wednesday Zoom call that he expects everyone on the club’s roster to participate this summer, per Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian. That includes some players who were injured when the season was suspended, such as Jaren Jackson Jr., Justise Winslow, and Brandon Clarke. It’s not clear yet whether Grayson Allen and Jontay Porter will be healthy enough to play, but both sound likely to accompany the team to Orlando.