For the eight teams that did not get a chance to play in the bubble, it is important to get back on track.
These eight teams (Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks) are hosting voluntary team mini-camps, which will help get their players with the extended absence from the game.
But like so many things in 2020, planning has become difficult due to so many unforeseen circumstances.
We tracked down as much information as we could to get a better idea of who is skipping out, and more importantly, why.
HoopsHype’s Alberto de Roa contributed research to this report
The 32-year old guard will not participate because he is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Given that he is one of the more experienced players on the team, it is no surprise to see him excluded so he does not get hurt before testing the market.
Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk “understands certain players who are older veterans” not wanting to participate. The big man still has another year left on his contract, although it is far from fully guaranteed.
The former first-rounder signed a four-year deal with the Golden State Warriors back in 2016. Now that it is expired, Atlanta could extend him a qualifying offer worth $3.45 million. Otherwise, he will become a restricted free agent and the Hawks could match any offer.
Bembry was a first-round pick by the Hawks in 2016, also signing a four-year deal with the team. Atlanta could extend a qualifying offer worth $3.72 million for the wing or he could become a restricted free agent.
After going undrafted in 2015, former VCU wing bounced around the G League before finding a home with the Charlotte Hornets and then with the Brooklyn Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves. Given that he is an unrestricted free agent, it makes sense that he would be away from the team right now as he works out on his own.
BJ Armstrong, who represents Biyombo, recently told the Charlotte Observer that his client loves Charlotte, has a relationship with his coach and the general manager. But as an unrestricted free agent, the 28-year-old would prefer to work out on his own time.
His reason to skip voluntary workouts has nothing to do with basketball, according to the Charlotte Observer: He and his wife are expecting the birth of their second child, in France. Next season, the NBA veteran will be the highest-paid player on the roster for the Hornets.
The only player on the Chicago Bulls who will reportedly not participate in workouts will be guard Kris Dunn, per NBC Sports. While he worked out at the Advocate Center before it was open for individual workouts and he has since recovered from his knee injury, he has opted for sitting out due to his expiring contract. Due to the shortened season, via ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Dunn’s qualifying offer jumped from $4.6 million to $7.1 million. Recovered from injury, this is a massive offseason for the former No. 5 overall pick.
Cleveland acquired two-time All-Star Andre Drummond before the trade deadline. The big man is expected to opt-in to his $28.8 million deal this offseason. While he reportedly would have liked to have been at the team minicamp, per Cleveland.com, there is a personal matter that requires him to be elsewhere. He has “been pretty engaged in everything” including Zoom calls and a recent quasi-tune-up for the team.
Longtime Cleveland big man Tristan Thompson is an unrestricted free agent this offseason and will skip the minicamp. Players on the team have told reporters that if Thompson was not a free agent, they know he would be out there with them. According to BasketballNews.com, there is “a lot of mutual interest” between Thompson and the front office for his return.
The wing was working out at the team practice facility back in May. But back in June, according to The Beacon Journal, he told Cleveland star Kevin Love that he would need to return to Turkey as soon as possible. Osman said that because he played for his National Team last year, he had not been able to see his family in a year.
30-year-old guard Matthew Dellavadova, who won a title with the Cavaliers in 2016, is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. His absence is hardly a big deal as the veteran averaged just 3.1 points per game last season, the second-lowest mark of his career in the NBA.
Detroit head coach Dwane Casey recently said that even though Griffin is not team minicamp, it is “totally understandable” and that he is working out and is 100 percent. Griffin played just 17 games for the Pistons last season and averaged a career-low 15.5 points per game. However, he was an All-Star as recently as 2018-19 and is a huge part of what the Pistons will do for better or for worse.
Former NBA MVP Derrick Rose is entering the final season of his two-year deal with the Pistons. While he has not that he is “open to anything” after this contract expires, including even a potential return to the Chicago Bulls, this reads simply as Rose preferring to work on his own schedule than anything else.
The 6-foot-10 big man is an unrestricted free agent, which is why he is not at minicamp for the Pistons. Casey said that he is “not reading anything into that” one way or another. The Athletic’s James Edwards projects there is a “70 percent” chance that Wood returns to the Pistons, though he has heard the 28-year-old could earn up to $16 million per season on the open market. He averaged 21.6 points to go with 10.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per 36 minutes without Griffin on the court in 2019-20.
Back in 2017, the Pistons signed guard Langston Galloway to a three-year deal worth $21 million. However, he started just one dozen games during the entire three-year stretch. The Athletic’s James Edwards projects that there is a “50 percent” chance he ends up re-signing with the organization due to the fact that his head coach values his professionalism.
Golden State Warriors
STEPHEN CURRY and DRAYMOND GREEN
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr did not expect to see Stephen Curry and Draymond Green during the minicamp workouts due to “family obligations” that would keep them elsewhere. For what it is worth: Green is expecting the birth of a child with Hazel Renee Joiner. Kerr said that while he would prefer to have them there, the team will “try to make the most” of this time. Meanwhile, Eric Paschall and Klay Thompson had to miss the first day due to quarantine protocol but are both anxious to get back in the mix. Especially considering that Thompson missed all of last season due to his torn ACL, it will be encouraging to see him back on the court.
Among the two dozen or so players who will miss mini-camp with their teams, the most unusual reason comes from Juan Hernangomez. He has committed to filming a movie, which he did not know would interfere with the workouts. This project is with Adam Sandler, who starred alongside former Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Kevin Garnett in Uncut Gems last year. The movie is about a basketball scout seeking talent overseas and is produced by LeBron James.
New York Knicks
Perhaps the most alarming of all decisions to skip team minicamp comes from New York Knicks big man Mitchell Robinson. He will miss the events due to “personal reasons” though it is also worth mentioning that he actually participated with the team during voluntary individual workouts last week. According to SNY’s Ian Begley, the 22-year-old does not have COVID-19. This would be valuable time with new head coach Tom Thibodeau, though, so the decision is surprising.
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