With the 2019-20 NBA season set to resume, teams are starting to regather themselves. Twenty-two teams will travel to Orlando, Florida within the next few weeks to start their mini-camps. The NBA has created a three-week program to allow teams to hold practices at ESPN’s Orlando campus.
During those three weeks, players are allowed to hold private and public practices before the season continues on July 31. Even though teams have the ability to sign players that played in the G-League or for another team, many will opt to lean on their core of returners.
However, two teams may not have that luxury. The Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards are still holding out their star players for the remainder of the season.
The Nets started the season without Kevin Durant due to a knee and Achilles injury that he suffered last season with the Golden State Warriors, and they also lost Kyrie Irving to a mid-season shoulder injury.
Irving was in and out of the Nets’ starting lineup while dealing with the injury, but his season ended in early March when he had shoulder surgery. Both players have now had time to rest and heal, and many speculated that they could return for a push for a deep playoff run. But when the news broke about the season resuming in July, both players announced that they would not be participating.
This should not come as a shock, as both players are still dealing with long-term injuries. Durant came back early last season to help the Warriors battle the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals, but he ended up re-injuring his knee and tearing his Achilles as a result. Both players and the Nets organization agreed that they must prioritize their health over the rest of this season.
The Wizards were put in the same dilemma as the Nets when John Wall was cleared to practice during the NBA’s hiatus. However, even though Wall has announced that he’s healthy and ready to play again, the Wizards have stated that he’ll be sitting out the remainder of the season.
Wall has missed almost two full seasons dealing with his knee injury, but this move will guarantee his health for next season. The Wizards have a tough road ahead in order to make the playoffs, so risking Wall’s health seems unwise.