What trade value would Schroeder have at the deadline for a contending team? C’s will be good this season, so probably won’t happen, but would Schroeder command a protected 1st or good young player? — Mr. Positive. Brian Robb: I think that either of those returns would probably be a very best-case scenario. The good news for Boston when it comes to Schroder’s trade value is that his contract is very cheap so it would be very easy for a team to add him without going over their budget. The problem for Brad Stevens is that Schroder does not have any Bird Rights after signing a one-year deal. That means any team that trades for him will need to use their own cap space to re-sign him. Most playoff teams are capped out for next summer already so that should limit a potential return in the event the Celtics decide to move on. If some team gets desperate, perhaps a late first-round pick could be in play but a couple of second-round picks and/or an unproven young player with promise seems more likely if Schroder has a good first half of the year and Boston wants to move on.
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From there, league personnel continue to ask where Dennis Schroder will land in this summer’s spending spree. The Los Angeles Lakers hope to net returning talent in a sign-and-trade involving the 27-year-old, and they have not ended their search for ways to land Buddy Hield.
However, it appears the Lakers have not been in extensive contact with Schroder and his representatives, sources told Bleacher Report, and the two sides do not seem to be working in tandem ahead of the new league year beginning at 6 p.m. ET Monday. A sign-and-trade requires agreement from both teams and the free agents involved.
There is some beautiful-mind framework in which the Lakers might still sign-and-trade Schroder and acquire Hield. It’s just hard to find it. The Wizards and Kings don’t want Schroder, sources said. The Lakers would need a fourth team that does, with assets the Kings want. (The Lakers do avoid the hard cap here by not acquiring a player in a sign-and-trade — one reason DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry were likely off the board.)
The roster moves that looked so good in November, winning raves for the Lakers’ front office, haven’t panned out. Dennis Schröder and Montrezl Harrell have not proved capable of pinch-carrying the Lakers during the regular season when James and Davis are unavailable. I believed, as resolutely as the Lakers, that they would be, but Schröder and Harrell tend to be more concerned with their own scoring than anything else. When the Lakers explored the trade market for both last month, it seemed to confirm their own uncertainty about the fit.
Don’t be surprised that the Los Angeles Lakers were prepared to trade Dennis Schröder. […] Schröder, 27, was available because of the gulf between player and team in contract extension talks. He has rebuffed extension offers from the Lakers in the range of $80 million over four years, according to two people familiar with the discussions who were not authorized to discuss them publicly.
Jake Fischer: Of note regarding the Kyle Lowry-Lakers rumors: It seems Los Angeles became open to discussing all of Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with rival teams as of Monday night, and that chatter has not since quieted among league executives.
Bill Oram: The Dennis Schröder deal is official. Here’s the announcement from the Lakers: pic.twitter.com/uw40gOFYDa
But Schröder also is not awful on defense. It won’t be a problem like the Clippers have with Lou Williams. The Thunder actually had a much better defensive rating with him on the floor (103.0) than off of it (111.8) last season. It was the same situation in OKC’s seven-game first-round series against the Rockets: 103.8 with Schröder on it, team-worst 114.9 with him off of it. That might be the greatest argument why Schröder will work in the postseason for a defense-first Lakers team. He just worked in a playoff series against a conference rival.
Earvin Magic Johnson: Lakers GM Rob Pelinka pulled off an awesome trade to acquire G Dennis Schroder who averages 18.9 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists from OKC. @Lakers fans, this trade puts us in a position to repeat!
Kevin O’Connor: Sources: The Bucks pursued a trade with the Thunder for Dennis Schroder and were deep in trade negotiations last week. Ultimately, the Lakers landed Schroder. Now the Bucks must move on to other targets. Eric Bledsoe remains the player Milwaukee is dangling most in trade talks.
Schroder has one year and $15.5 million left on his contract and would be acquired with the intention of eventually signing him to a new contract to remain with the defending NBA champions, sources said.
StatMuse: Dennis Schroder last season: 18.9 PPG, 4.0 APG, 47/39/84%. He led the NBA in points off the bench. pic.twitter.com/yfr6kLXTHv
Shams Charania: Lakers and Thunder have agreement in principle on deal to send Dennis Schroder to Los Angeles, and No. 28 pick in Wednesday’s Draft to OKC, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Bobby Marks: Lakers will gain some valuable flexibility when it comes to their $9.3M midlevel exception: Out: Green $15,365,853 Pick 28- $1.964,780. In: Schroder – $15,500,000.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Schroder-to-the-Lakers is well on course to be completed on Monday, sources tell ESPN. Rival teams in pursuit of the OKC guard have started moving onto new targets. The Lakers will land an impactful, versatile guard in pursuit of the franchise’s title defense.
Shams Charania: The Lakers are engaged in active talks on a deal to acquire Oklahoma City’s Dennis Schröder, which would send No. 28 pick in Draft to the Thunder, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Los Angeles Lakers are in advanced talks with Oklahoma City on a trade for guard Dennis Schroder, sources tell ESPN. Deal expected to include OKC acquiring LA’s pick at No. 28 in Wednesday’s draft. Deal can be completed at noon ET on Monday.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Lakers guard Danny Green and the No. 28 overall pick have been a focus of the trade discussions for Schroder, sources tell ESPN.
Would guard Dennis Schroder from OKC help the Mavs? Maybe, but every time we think of Schroder we think of Dirk Nowitzki’s privately-held unflattering opinion of him. We’re not sure this is a great pairing with Luka Doncic. Schroder is worth a mention, though, for another reason that mirrors an Oubre motivation: As the Mavs ready for more big steps in the future, it’s important to know that Schroder’s coming contract pays him $15.5 million and is expiring. Oubre’s is at $14.4 mil, and, yes, it’s expiring.
This is why you hear Larry Nance Jr.’s name a lot across the league — in addition to the big names in Oklahoma City (Paul, Gallinari, and Dennis Schroder). Schroder would draw strong interest, sources say.
On Chris Paul trade scenarios: Gozlan: “Eric Bledsoe, Ersan Ilyasova – assuming you guarantee his $7 million salary for next season – and then you can do a variation of George Hill. I don’t think they want to trade George Hill. I think he was awesome for them, and they want to keep him. In that case, you can get away with Robin Lopez and DJ Wilson. After that, then you start talking about the incentives, maybe Donte DiVincenzo. On OKC’s side, they’d love to get a lot of picks and young players.” Scotto: “At that point, if you’re OKC, you’re signaling you’re fully rebuilding, and you’re going to really start to gut that roster. If you get rid of Chris Paul, Steven Adams will probably be talked about in trades. Dennis Schroeder as well. Danilo Gallinari (free agent) probably wouldn’t be brought back at that point, or you try a sign-and-trade to get him to a certain destination.”
Michael Scotto: “At that point, if you’re OKC, you’re signaling you’re fully rebuilding, and you’re going to really start to gut that roster. If you get rid of Chris Paul, Steven Adams will probably be talked about in trades. Dennis Schroeder as well. Danilo Gallinari (free agent) probably wouldn’t be brought back at that point, or you try a sign-and-trade to get him to a certain destination.”
The Oklahoma City Thunder were a somewhat unexpected playoff team in 19-20 after trading away Paul George and Russell Westbrook last offseason. Chris Paul had a resurgent season and the Thunder were one of the best clutch teams in the league. But the Thunder could still begin a more conventional rebuild if they trade away Paul and follow that move by dealing Dennis Schroder and Steven Adams. “By all appearances, once the Thunder make the move to move on from Chris Paul, that’s kind of when they’re going to hit the reset button,” said Royce Young on The Hoop Collective Podcast. “That’s when I think they’ll start tearing down some of the pieces. Schroder will go. Adams might go. And they’ll start to sort of begin their first ever rebuild since they moved to Oklahoma City.”
Royce Young: Dennis Schroder on trade rumors, says it’s not a distraction, just a business. Also says, “The GM Sam Presti is probably the best GM I’ve ever seen. He’s an honest person.”
Alex Kennedy: The Lakers have made some calls to ask about the availability of Spencer Dinwiddie and Dennis Schroder, according to Zach Lowe on this ESPN deadline special.
Dave McMenamin: The Lakers inquired about Dennis Schröder as they look to fortify the PG position leading up to the trade deadline, sources told ESPN. The conversation did not go very far, as OKC — currently the No. 7 seed in the West — were not looking to move him without a hefty return.
Steven Adams, Dennis Schroder and Danilo Gallinari remain the Thunder players to watch as speculation intensifies ahead of the deadline. “Nobody should pay attention to that,” Schroder said Tuesday. “It’s a business. When something happens and Sam (Presti) calls us, then we just gotta move forward. Right now I think everyone is in a good place.”
SNY sources confirm that some with the Knicks would like to see the club pursue a point guard at the trade deadline, as the NY Daily News reported. OKC’s Dennis Schroeder is among the point guards believed to be available.
Even without a Morris deal, the Knicks could still be active before the trade deadline. Dennis Smith Jr. is hopeful for a relocation, according to a source, and it was believed the Timberwolves were the prime suitors before they traded Jeff Teague. One thing to keep in mind: the Knicks are looking for a point guard and, according to a source, are high on OKC’s Dennis Schroder.
According to various reports, players like Dennis Schroeder, DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love could be made available via trade by their respective teams. The Knicks, per a source, are keeping their ‘eye on a lot of players’ as we enter trade season.
After three consecutive first-round playoff exits — two with Westbrook and George on the roster together — the Thunder should consider making everyone else available via trade. That doesn’t mean it’s time to make a panic deal involving Adams or Schröder, but their contracts make them the biggest pieces OKC has to make a sweeping change if that’s the route Presti wants to pursue. Despite some struggles against the league’s elite centers this season, Adams remains an excellent defender and valuable pick-and-roll piece. But he’s owed $25 million next season and $27 million in 2020-21, and that might scare off potential trade partners.
It is the view of people in the DSJ camp that Carlisle works with rookies Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson different than he works with Smith. And now you’ve got the organization maybe “within 24 hours” of a trade, a source tells me. (Two more important links here: Carlisle’s fault in all of this, and our Step-Back Podcast. Click on in.)
Zach Lowe: The two sides haggled over protections on that pick, sources say. OKC pushed for top-20 protected, but ATL got friendlier protections (lottery protected) in the end — likely by rerouting Muscala to a third team instead of OKC.
Royce Young: Dennis Schroder appears to be excited about his move to OKC. (And if you’re wondering, he spoke with Sam Presti and Billy Donovan before the trade and understands his role will be as a sixth man.)
The Hawks tried to trade Schroder for weeks, but couldn’t find a market for the former first-round draft pick. The need to trade Schroder became obvious when the Hawks obtained two other point guards – first selecting Young in the NBA Draft as the No. 5 overall pick and then trading for veteran Lin. General manager Travis Schlenk declined to comment on what the Lin acquisition meant for Schroder, but it was apparent all three point guards could not remain on the same roster.
Schroder, 24, faces possible felony charges for an assault arrest in September. He also said during a news conference in his native Germany that he would like to be traded, preferably to the Bucks or Pacers. He also was suspended several times over his five-year career with the Hawks for different violations, including not returning from an All-Star break trip to Germany after he forgot his visa.
Schroder comes to the Thunder for a desired need: another fast, playmaking point guard for a revved-up bench behind All-Star guard Russell Westbrook. OKC general manager Sam Presti and coach Billy Donovan were given permission to speak with Schroder before the agreement, and the three of them discussed his role with Oklahoma City.
The Hawks were motivated to move Schroder after drafting Trae Young with the fifth overall pick last month and then trading with Brooklyn for veteran point guard Jeremy Lin.
Oklahoma City was able to accomplish two things by trading Carmelo Anthony to Atlanta, improve the roster while saving $73M this season. The Thunder will now see their projected luxury tax bill drop from $150M to $88.8M, a savings of $62M.
In addition, Oklahoma City will save an additional $11M in salary savings with the Dennis Schroder $15.5M contract and the $1.5M cap hit of Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. The Thunder now have a payroll of $148.7M, down from $159.6M.
As part of a three-team deal, the Oklahoma City Thunder have reached an agreement to trade forward Carmelo Anthony and a top-14 protected 2022 first-round draft pick to the Atlanta Hawks for guard Dennis Schroder, two people with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.
The Hawks plan to waive Anthony, who will then become a free agent after he clears waivers. Atlanta has the ability to absorb Anthony’s contract, but the price for taking him off Oklahoma City’s roster was a first-round draft pick – a good move for Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk who is rebuilding the roster.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have agreed to trade Carmelo Anthony and a protected 2022 first-round pick to the Atlanta Hawks for point guard Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala, league sources tell ESPN.
Royce Young: The pick the Thunder are sending the Hawks is 2022 lottery protected first rounder (1-14). If it doesn’t convey, it’ll become two second rounders.
Shams Charania: Sources: As part of multi-team Carmelo Anthony/Dennis Schröder deal, Atlanta’s Mike Muscala will go to Philadelphia, 76ers’ Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot will be traded to Oklahoma City and 76ers’ Justin Anderson to Atlanta.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Oklahoma City has agreed to trade Carmelo Anthony and a protected 2022 first-round pick to Atlanta for point guard Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala, league sources tell ESPN. Anthony will be waived, and he will join team of his choice. Rockets are frontrunner.
Chris Vivlamore: It’s a three team trade. Muscala will got to Philly. Justin Anderson will come to Hawks. Carmelo will be bought out. Won’t be a Hawk. Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot will got to OKC.
Chris Mannix: Not to get lost in the ‘Melo trade is the fact that Atlanta just gave away a 20-point, six-assist point guard in Schroder. Hawks clearly moving in a different direction, and GM Travis Schlenk was not a Schroder fan.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Muscala ($5M) is likely headed for a third team in near future. OKC GM Sam Presti and coach Billy Donovan were given permission to talk with Schroder, and they’re enthusiastic about partnership. OKC wants more speed, another ball handler.
The Hawks have been trying to trade Schroder for weeks, but haven’t found much of a market for him, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions. Schroder’s poor 3-point shooting and atrocious defense last season hurt his trade value but not as much as his legal troubles, according to people with knowledge of how other teams view Schroder.
David Aldridge: Meanwhile, told the Hawks plan to keep @Jeremy Lin, acquired from BKN tonight (@Adrian Wojnarowski first). With @Trae Young in the mix as well, you’d have to think Atlanta is in range to deal incumbent point @Dennis Schroeder, around whom trade rumors have been flying for weeks.
Fletcher Mackel: NBA source tells me #Pelicans have “had discussions” about acquiring Atlanta Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder in trade. Unsure how far talks got. I’m told NOLA likes his talent, potential fit on court… but has MAJOR concerns about his pending legal issues (felony assault).
The Hawks have amassed an intriguing blend of talent, and they’re not done building. There were trade talks heading into the draft involving guards Dennis Schröder and Kent Bazemore, per league sources. Schröder was on the block all season, as we reported in January, while the team at least discussed Bazemore with Dallas and Orlando in possible trade-downs.
Michael Cunningham: Re: Schlenk comment on Schroder: He is not going to come out and say he wants to trade him. The Hawks would like to move Schroder but I’m told interest has been tepid.
Atlanta has explored moving Schröder, but league sources say his off-court behavior and general attitude have made him harder to trade, despite the fact he’s entering his prime years at age 24.
David Hein: Speaking in Germany at a German Basketball Federation DBB press conference, Dennis Schröder about the current situation with the Atlanta Hawks
Dennis Schroder will meet with the Atlanta Hawks in a week to discuss his future with the organization. Speaking to reporters at the German Basketball Federation press conference in Germany, Schroder said, “I want to compete. I cannot be second-to-last in the Eastern Conference.”
Atlanta Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder has cleared his Instagram account of all Hawks-related posts and also unfollowed the Hawks’ Instagram page. Schroder’s revamped social media of Hawks photos comes at a time when his future with the team is very much in question.
Schroder specifically told the German media he could imagine himself being traded to the Indiana Pacers or the Milwaukee Bucks. “Of course, I have my thoughts and my friends with other teams,” Schroder said. “For example, Indiana wouldn’t be too bad. Milwaukee wouldn’t be too bad. Those are two teams where you can say the organization is going in the right direction.”
David Hein: Speaking in Germany at a German Basketball Federation DBB press conference, Dennis Schröder about the current situation with the Atlanta Hawks: “I don’t know what the organization has in mind, that’s why I am going back in a week. Of course, Atlanta is my city, I was drafted there, have a lot of memories there, but like I said, I have to look individually at what’s best for me.”
David Hein: An elaboration from Dennis Schröder about the next few days and the up-coming talks with the @ATLHawks: “I will talk to the general manager and owner of the team and we will talk about the organization and what they want to do in the future. My agent will also be there and he will talk to them tomorrow and Wednesday and see how it continues on.”
David Hein: Dennis Schröder told a press conference in Germany that @Pacers (he has a good relationship with Victor Oladipo) and @Bucks would be teams he could imagine being traded to: “Of course I have my thoughts and my friends with other teams. For example, Indiana or Milwaukee wouldn’t be too bad. Those are the teams where you can say the organization is going in the right direction.”
David Hein: Dennis Schröder said he wants to stay in Atlanta if it looks like things are going in the right direction. But he said he wants to compete while in his prime: “I will be 25 in September and of course you want to win a title some time. In my prime – 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 – I want to compete. I cannot be second to last in the Eastern Conference. That’s why I will have these talks with the Hawks.”
Beyond that? It’s hard to see the Hawks having much that can be moved. There has been surprisingly little interest in Dennis Schroder, who is only 24, works well in the pick-and-roll and is averaging 19.3 points and 6.4 assists. But Schroder has been a poor 3-point shooter (28.0 percent this year), and there is doubt among league executives that he can be a leader on a playoff team. He is owed $46.5 million over the next three seasons.
Spend on all their key current guys, and the Bucks could be short of both cap space and trade assets. They already traded one future first-round pick for Eric Bledsoe. (The Bucks and Hawks discussed a similar deal for Dennis Schroeder before Bledsoe became available, according to several league sources.)
Another name that could also be moved? Dennis Schröder. Though Schröder is only 24, he’s not part of the Hawks’ long-term equation with his inconsistent, inefficient performance. However, any move involving Schröder is more likely to happen in the summer. As it stands, teams in need of a point guard may prefer to hold onto cap space for someone like Isaiah Thomas or Elfrid Payton or hope they can land Collin Sexton or Trae Young in the draft. But if they strike out, there will be more suitors in July than there are now.
This season was a rebuilding year for the Hawks, and they knew it. It also is a year in which the Hawks are open to shedding contract dollars. League sources continue to say the asking price on Dennis Schroder is too high to make sense, but the Hawks have at least listened to the idea and are not turning away conversations. There continues to be a sense that Kent Bazemore is available, but again, the asking price seems to be too high to think he’ll get moved, but he is a name to watch as the deadline grows near.
How serious do you think (Hawks GM) Travis Schlenk is about trading Dennis Schroder? And what might those trades look like? Here’s one thing I know about Travis Schlenk: He wants nothing to do with long-term contracts. Schlenk craves flexibility, and his early moves – trading Howard, making little effort to retain Paul Millsap – tell me he’s thinking well into the future. Schroder is a little different though. There’s legitimate talent there, which can’t be dismissed. But more importantly, there is no real market for him. I ran Schroder’s name by a few team executives this week, and each recoiled. There’s a toxicity surrounding Schroder right now. A reputation as a selfish player has gained significant traction throughout the league. His arrest on battery charges last month – an incident the Hawks have deemed “unacceptable” – is an example teams cite of his immaturity. Said a Western Conference executive: “I don’t need that kind of headache.” Perhaps Atlanta could give Schroder away. But at 24, Schroder is a terrific talent. Maybe the Hawks can work with him and hope he matures. Really, they don’t have much of a choice.
Eligible for a rookie extension this summer, Schroder will be a restricted free agent next summer, giving Atlanta the ability to control the free-agency process. Teague, 27, has shown the ability to run the team, but his future is unclear. Teague is still in his prime but is entering the last year of a $32 million contract he signed in 2013. With Teague’s salary ($8 million in 2016-17) likely to double in 2017-18 and Schroder commanding starter money, the situation needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
There are officials from other teams in the league that believe the Hawks can’t go into next season with the same setup of Teague starting and Schroder coming off the bench. However, it does remain an option. Hawks president of basketball operations and head coach Mike Budenholzer and general manager Wes Wilcox will likely have many conversations in the next few months on the issue.
The 76ers were prepared to make major changes to their roster to get a coveted point guard at Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. The team offered packages that included shooting guard Nik Stauskas, point guard Ish Smith, a player with an expiring guaranteed contract and a 2016 first-round pick to the Atlanta Hawks for point guard Dennis Schroder, according to multiple league sources. Former Sixer JaKarr Sampson was said to be player with the expiring contract in the deal.
The pick the Sixers offered to the Hawks was one of the protected ones they have from the Los Angeles Lakers (top 3), Miami Heat (top 10) and Oklahoma City Thunder (top 15).
The uncertainty surrounding the re-signing of Smith this summer was a holdup for the Hawks, according to one of the sources. The point guard, whose stock rose this season, is expected to have plenty of suitors when he becomes a free agent this summer.
Atlanta ultimately decided to keep Schroder, their standout backup. However, a source expects the Sixers and Hawks to revisit trade talks for him during the NBA draft on June 23.
Schroder is signed to the end of the 2016-17 season. The Hawks have the option to offer him a qualifying offer for $3.8 million in 2017-18. A source said that the Sixers are prepared to sign him a maximum-salary deal.
John Gonzalez: League source: Jeff Teague is off the market. If Sixers are still interested in Dennis Schroder, haven’t made formal offer to Hawks yet
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Atlanta’s expressing its intentions to rivals that Hawks plan to keep team intact at deadline, holding onto Horford and key guards.
Bob Cooney: One source told me Sixers have interest in Atlanta guards, but no offer. Another source says they have made a solid offer. Stay tuned.
They are also in the market for a prized point guard, according to another league source. Another source wouldn’t be surprised if the Sixers call the Hawks at the 11th hour to follow up on their interest in Atlanta point guard Jeff Teague or backup Dennis Schroder.
In addition to talking to Atlanta about Teague and monitoring Jennings’ situation, the Knicks recently reached out to the Hawks about guard Dennis Schroder. They were unable to make traction on a deal, per league sources.
The 76ers have contacted the Atlanta Hawks about their desire to trade point guard Jeff Teague or backup Dennis Schroder, a league source said. The source said the Sixers have not made a trade offer for either of the two. Mutliple league sources said they don’t expect the Sixers to make a serious push for one of the point guards before the Feb. 18 trade deadline.
Last month, members of the Knicks’ front office made inquiries with the Atlanta Hawks about point guards Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder, according to league sources familiar with the dialogue. The talks with Atlanta did not progress at the time due to New York’s lack of assets, sources say.
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September 26, 2021 | 6:15 am EDT Update
“The NBA should insist that all players and staff are vaccinated or remove them from the team,” NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tells Rolling Stone. “There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research. What I find especially disingenuous about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance at disbelieving immunology and other medical experts. Yet, if their child was sick or they themselves needed emergency medical treatment, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do?”
Irving, who serves as a vice president on the executive committee of the players’ union, recently started following and liking Instagram posts from a conspiracy theorist who claims that “secret societies” are implanting vaccines in a plot to connect Black people to a master computer for “a plan of Satan.” This Moderna microchip misinformation campaign has spread across multiple NBA locker rooms and group chats, according to several of the dozen-plus current players, Hall-of-Famers, league executives, arena workers and virologists interviewed for this story over the past week.
When asked directly about Irving’s vaccination status — or his plans to change it — multiple people familiar with his thinking declined to answer directly. But one confidant and family member floated to Rolling Stone the idea of anti-vaxx players skipping home games to dodge the New York City ordinance… or at least threatening to protest them, until the NBA changes its ways.
“There are so many other players outside of him who are opting out, I would like to think they would make a way,” says Kyrie’s aunt, Tyki Irving, who runs the seven-time All-Star’s family foundation and is one of the few people in his regular circle of advisors. “It could be like every third game. So it still gives you a full season of being interactive and being on the court, but with the limitations that they’re, of course, oppressing upon you. There can be some sort of formula where the NBA and the players can come to some sort of agreement.”
A spokeswoman for Irving declined to respond to a list of questions regarding his vaccination and playing status, and Irving did not immediately respond to a message from Rolling Stone. But as teams return to pre-season training camps next week, fifty to sixty NBA players have yet to receive a single vaccine dose, league sources tell RS. Most are considered merely reluctant skeptics. Some of the holdouts, however, amount to their own shadow roster of anti-vaxxers mounting a behind-the-scenes resistance to Covid protocols — and the truth.
Isaac considers un-vaxxed players to be vilified and bullied, and he thinks “it’s an injustice” to automatically make heroes out of vaccinated celebrities. He rejects the NBA’s proposal for a vaccine mandate and social distancing for players like him during team travel: “You can play on the same court. We can touch the same ball. We can bump chests. We can do all those things on the court. And then when it comes to being on the bus, we have to be in different parts of the bus? To me, it doesn’t seem logically consistent. “If you are vaccinated, in other places you still have to wear the mask regardless. It’s like, ‘OK, then what is the mask necessarily for?’” Isaac continues. “And if Kyrie says that from his position of his executive power in the NBPA, then kudos to him.”
Enes Kanter — the veteran center, devout Muslim and outspoken liberal — senses a creep of the religious right upon his workplace, which just happens to involve players like Isaac sweating all over him and yelling in his face: “If a guy’s not getting vaccinated because of his religion, I feel like we are in a time where the religion and science has to go to together,” he tells RS. “I’ve talked to a lot of religious guys — I’m like: ‘It saves people’s lives, so what is more important than that?’”