The NBA reboot is still in about a month, but players are making decisions about their future right now. For some, like the Brooklyn Nets Kyrie Irving, it is important not to divert attention from Black Lives Matter’s efforts to combat systemic racism and social injustices. For others, it may be a health problem.
In the case of Portland Trevor Ariza, he skips the shortened NBA season to hang out with his 12-year-old son.
The Blazers forward was involved in a custody case for his son. The boy’s mother has granted a court-ordered visitation period of one month – occurring when the league plans to resume its season.
Ariza, 34, will lose at least $ 1 million for not playing during the restart. The NBA plan is to end this year’s season in a “bubble” in Orlando. The reboot features 22 teams playing in a shortened regular season before entering the playoffs.
Ariza could lose up to $ 1.8 million if the Blazers qualified for the playoffs. They are currently tied for ninth in the Western Conference, 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies. The teams participating in the restart will play in eight classification matches to determine the playoff position. If a team finishes in all four games of the eighth seed, it will participate in a play-in tournament.
Ariza has a barely guaranteed $ 12.8 million contract for the 2020-21 season.
The Blazers can play their way into the playoffs, but they’ll have to do it without Ariza. The striker joined the team in February after the Sacramento Kings traded him in. Ariza started in the 21 games he played with Portland, averaging 11 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1 flight per game. He also knocked down 40% of his three pointers.
Teams must submit their travel groups, from alignment to support staff, no later than July 1. Once a team signs a replacement player, the original player cannot return to the lineup this season.
Losing a million dollars – and maybe more – will certainly hurt. But Ariza has been in the league long enough to make a living.
Most importantly, it puts family first.