Before the NBA resumes play in the Walt Disney World bubble with seeding games on July 30, there still are some details that need to be worked out.
The league recently provided teams with health and safety protocols, which reportedly includes players wearing a device to promote physical distancing and possibly a ring that can detect coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms at an early stage.
Players still need to decide if they even want to play though, whether it be due to health and safety concerns, or the social climate of the country right now. Los Angeles Lakers teammates Avery Bradley and Dwight Howard are among those that have discussed sitting out the remainder of the season to focus on inspiring positive change in the country.
If Bradley, Howard or any other Lakers players decide it is best to sit out, the organization will have the opportunity to sign someone to replace them. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the window for the Lakers and other teams to do so would begin on June 23 and last one week:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 20, 2020
It was recently reported that players will have a June 24 deadline to notify teams if they want to play or sit out. While the transaction window is due to open prior to that, teams would have plenty of time to find replacements.
Additionally, it was also reported that teams will be able to bring up to 17 players with them to Orlando. The Lakers currently have 15 full-time players in addition to a pair of two-way players, so someone would need to be released if they want to sign anyone else.
If Howard chooses to sit out, the primary candidate to replace him likely would be DeMarcus Cousins. He spent almost the whole season with the Lakers before being waived to make room on the roster for Markieff Morris.
Cousins has been rehabbing a torn ACL for a better part of the past year, but there is no denying his talent. If healthy enough to play, he could provide the Lakers a unique skill set as a big man that can shoot, pass and score around the basket.
With all of the injuries Cousins has suffered in recent years though, it may not make sense for him to come back in this type of environment.
The Lakers, as well as other teams, will have the opportunity to discuss that with him beginning June 23. Other candidates that could draw interest from teams include JR Smith, Jamal Crawford, Iman Shumpert, Trey Burke, Gerald Green and Tyler Johnson.
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