Nets general manager Sean Marks said the organization is committed to sending a group to Orlando for the NBA’s restart in late July, despite several players saying they will not make the trip.
“We have a job to do,” Marks said during a virtual news conference on Wednesday morning. “We have to bring a team to Orlando. We will bring a team to Orlando. We will go down there and we will compete. That’s our jobs here.”
The Nets are expected to be without DeAndre Jordan, who tweeted that he would not travel after testing positive for coronavirus last week. They will also be missing Wilson Chandler — who opted out, citing spending more time with family — and Nic Claxton, who had season-ending shoulder surgery on June 24.
Marks said that Spencer Dinwiddie, who also tested positive for coronavirus, has not made a final decision on whether or not he will make the trip to Florida.
“That would be up in the air,” Marks said. “Look, I would hope these guys decide to go, but again, I hope they decide that’s best for them and their health and family. So, if they decide to go to Orlando, we know we will be taking the best care possible of them.”
When the season paused on March 11, Jordan, Chandler and Dinwiddie were all starting for Brooklyn.
Marks added that he has “no reason to believe at this point” that more Brooklyn players will elect not to join the team. By the end of the day on Wednesday, teams must submit a list of their traveling party to the league.
However, a player can still choose not to play, even if his name is on the list. Marks said that currently, Dinwiddie is on the Nets’ traveling list.
According to the NBA’s safety protocol, if a player tests positive before traveling to the Disney campus – like Dinwiddie has – they must quarantine, be asymptomatic and test negative for coronavirus twice. If that player is cleared medically and still chooses not to go to Orlando, he would likely face a pay reduction.
If Jordan is left on the Nets’ eligible roster and does not render services in Orlando after being medically cleared, he would face a pay reduction up to $1.2 million, according to Front Insider Bobby Marks. If Brooklyn signs a replacement player for Jordan, he would be absolved of that financial penalty.
The Nets’ injured players – Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant – will not make the journey with the team, Marks said. Marks, who said he has seen both players during the hiatus, said that he had spoken with the All Star point guard about the decision not to travel over the last two weeks.
“The best thing is for them to not attend Orlando and to rehab and to continue that process back in Brooklyn or wherever they may be right now,” Marks said.
The Nets are scheduled to travel to Orlando on July 7.