The NBA’s much anticipated league restart is scheduled to take place later this month but not all players will be available when the games resume. In addition to the players who will voluntarily sit when the games tip off at Disney World, there’s a growing list of injured players that won’t be able to take part.
Part and parcel with the league’s restart plan is the fact that players can opt out of the Disney World games without breaching their contract, but whether or not players will forfeit a prorated share of their contract when they opt out or not depends on whether they’re formally excused or not due to a medical issue.
Many of the players who will forego suiting up for the squads when the league resumes are facing the same injuries that they faced prior to the shutdown, most notably the likes of Kevin Durant and John Wall, who were expected to be out for the season regardless and will not alter those plans to take part in the unprecedented campaign extension.
Other players that have already revealed that they won’t participate at Disney did not appear on injury reports prior to the shutdown.
In addition to players who will sit out due to recent positive COVID-19 diagnoses – like DeAndre Jordan and Spencer Dinwiddie – there are players like Bradley Beal and Victor Oladipo who will take the opportunity to sit despite being active in mid-March.
To get a sense of where player’s stood when the league shut down in March, I’ve combed through the league’s final injury reports from prior to the shutdown, noting any instances where players were formally listed as “out”.
A total of 19 of the 22 Disney-bound teams had at least one such player in their most recent injury report prior to the shutdown. All told, 49 NBA players from those teams were listed as “out” on their team’s last injury report before the league ground to a halt on the night of March 11.
At least 11 of those players that were listed as “out” in March are not expected to play at Disney World. Many of the rest have long returned to health and will be active in Orlando later this month.
Out Then; Out Now
|Kevin Durant (BRO)||Right Achilles||64|
|Kyrie Irving (BRO)||Right Shoulder||16|
|Jalen Brunson (DAL)||Right Shoulder||10|
|Dwight Powell (DAL)||Right Achilles||24|
|Jeremy Lamb (IND)||Left Knee||8|
|Darius Miller (NOP)||Right Achilles||64|
|Al-Farouq Aminu (ORL)||Right Knee||47|
|Jonathan Isaac (ORL)||Left Knee||31|
|Kelly Oubre (PHO)||Right Knee||7|
|Rodney Hood (POR)||Left Achilles||43|
|John Wall (WAS)||Left Achilles||64|
Of the 11 players that are expected to be out of action when the Disney World games tip off, three had missed the entire 2019-20 campaign. Not all players that spent the first seven months of the season on the sidelines will forego the return, however.
Jusuf Nurkic of the Portland Trail Blazers has been sidelined since breaking his leg in March of 2019 but has been cleared to suit up for his squad after the extended layoff.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Andre Roberson is another example of a player that could make his season debut at Disney. Roberson has been on the sidelines since January, 2018.
A grand total of 30 players that were “out” the day the league stood still are now at least reasonably expected to be back at full health on July 30.
Out Then; Available Now
|Joe Harris (BRO)||Left Ankle||0|
|Seth Curry (DAL)||Left Ankle||1|
|Dorian Finney-Smith (DAL)||Right Hip||1|
|Kristaps Porzingis (DAL)||Left Knee||1|
|Michael Frazier (HOU)||Left Ulna||9|
|Doug McDermott (IND)||Right Big Toe||3|
|Lou Williams (LAC)||Right Calf||1|
|Brandon Clarke (MEM)||Right Quad||8|
|Jaren Jackson Jr. (MEM)||Left Knee||9|
|Jimmy Butler (MIA)||Left Big Toe||1|
|Meyers Leonard (MIA)||Left Ankle||16|
|JJ Redick (NOP)||Left Hamstring||5|
|Evan Fournier (ORL)||Right Elbow||3|
|Darius Bazley (OKC)||Right Knee||11|
|Ben Simmons (PHI)||Back||8|
|Cameron Johnson (PHO)||Illness||3|
|Frank Kaminsky (PHO)||Right Knee||32|
|Zach Collins (POR)||Left Shoulder||63|
|Jusuf Nurkic (POR)||Left Leg||66|
|Marvin Bagley III (SAC)||Left Foot||21|
|Dejounte Murray (SAS)||Right Calf||1|
|Jakob Poeltl (SAS)||Right Knee||5|
|Lonnie Walker IV (SAS)||Left Shin||2|
|Marc Gasol (TOR)||Left Hamstring||1|
|Dewan Hernandez (TOR)||Right Ankle||38|
|Fred VanVleet (TOR)||Left Shoulder||7|
|Rudy Gobert (UTA)||Illness||0|
|Emmanuel Mudiay (UTA)||Illness||3|
|Isaac Bonga (WAS)||Groin||1|
|Ish Smith (WAS)||Left Hamstring||1|
Naturally, there are a number of cases where availability isn’t known or at least hasn’t been verified. This list could grow with confirmations that players like Nigel Williams-Goss or Justin James are deemed eligible.
In addition to those less documented cases, there’s no consensus yet that a player like Malcolm Brogdon, who has recovered from his right quad injury but now faces recovery from COVID-19, will actually suit up at Disney World, or if a late signee like Jontay Porter, who inked a deal mid-rehabilitation on March 10, will make his debut for the Memphis Grizzlies.
Other players like Memphis’ Grayson Allen and NOLA’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker, much like Roberson, could potentially be capable of returning but don’t yet have a formally revealed clean bill of health.
Additionally, not all players that were available in March are expected to suit up for their teams during the restart. I’ve published a dynamic list of NBA players who’ve voluntarily opted out of the Disney World games but these aren’t the players that I’m concerned about here.
Below is a list of the additional players that won’t play for medical reasons. For several of these players, the hiatus represented an opportunity to undergo surgery to treat nagging injuries. LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs and Bojan Bogdanovic of the Utah Jazz elected to go this route.
Other players will sit out of the restart after testing positive for the coronavirus during the shut down. A trio of Brooklyn Nets players, DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie and Taurean Prince, have done exactly that and this list may grow if more players see positive diagnoses closer to the July 30 tip off.
Available Then; Out Now
|Spencer Dinwiddie (BRO)||COVID-19|
|DeAndre Jordan (BRO)||COVID-19|
|Taurean Prince (BRO)||COVID-19|
|Courtney Lee (DAL)||Left Calf|
|Victor Oladipo (IND)||Right Quad|
|Isaiah Roby (OKC)||Right Foot|
|LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS)||Right Shoulder|
|Bojan Bogdanovic (UTA)||Right Wrist|
|Bradley Beal (WAS)||Right Shoulder|
|Rajon Rondo (LAL)||Right Thumb|