The reason for opting out is the well-being of his oldest child, a six-year-old son who has a history struggling to recover from respiratory illnesses.
“As committed to my Lakers teammates and the organization as I am, I ultimately play basketball for my family and so, at a time like this, I can’t imagine making any decision that might put my family’s health and well-being at even the slightest risk”, Bradley told ESPN.
This season Bradley was a very valuable 3&D player on the Lakers roster. He started 44 games, averaging 8.6 points. More importantly, he had games where he was the missing puzzle Lakers needed to overcome other teams. Avery scored 24 points against the Clippers just before the season stopped. Bradley is a crucial part of the Lakers system, namely on the defensive end. Los Angeles will feel his absence in the Playoffs.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is likely to replace Bradley in the Lakers’ starting lineup. JR Smith is the leading candidate to take his roster spot.
Players have until Wednesday to inform their teams whether they will participate in the remainder of the season. Teams can sign replacements for players opting out up until July 1st. The NBA will start on July 31st, featuring 22 teams.
Before Bradley, both Blazers’ Trevor Ariza and Wizards’ Davis Bertans decided not to play in the NBA comeback.