Both Washington’s Bradley Beal and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo — two players critical to their team’s chances when NBA games restart — said Wednesday they are unsure if they will go to the Orlando bubble.
Beal, in a conference call with reporters, said he and the Wizards medical staff would make the call on his playing. Via Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.
“I have yet to make mine. I’m still working my tail off every single day as if I am playing. It is definitely more or less going to be a decision that comes down to the medical staff and I just because of our precautions and coming back from zero to 100,” he said.
“I had some nagging stuff at the end of the year we are trying to clean up, too. We’re looking at it from all angles. I’m definitely working out every single day in here. It’s good to be back in the facility.”
The Wizards are 5.5 games back of the eighth-seed Magic, six games back of the Nets and their decimated roster. Washington would have to get within four games of one of those teams (whichever is the eighth seed) and then beat them in back-to-back games in a play-in series. It’s a long shot, especially for a team that will not have Davis Bertans with them in Orlando. Even if they pull it off and make the playoffs, the reward is Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
It leads to the question: Is it worth it for the Wizards to bring Beal to Orlando?
It will be a medical question for Oladipo as well, and he has said for a while he would workout toward a return and then decide how he felt. After missing more than a year following a torn right quad tendon, he returned to play 13 games before the league was shut down due to the coronavirus. In the last five of those games he averaged 18.6 points and 4.8 rebounds a game, he was starting to look like his old self.
Oladipo still has not made a decision, as reported by J. Michael of the Indy Star.
— J. Michael (@ThisIsJMichael) July 1, 2020
The Pacers sit as the five seed in the East, tied with the sixth-seed Sixers, and just two games back of the four seed Heat. There could be a lot of shakeups in the East seedings, which would impact first-round playoff matchups. Indiana is right in the middle of all of that and is not the same level of threat without a healthy Oladipo.
While the transaction window the league set up closed and teams wanted to know by today (July 1), there is no hard deadline for players to back out of heading to the Orlando restart up until the team plane takes off next week. There are a number of players monitoring the spike in coronavirus cases in Florida and waiting to make a decision. As is their right, this is not an easy call.