It only takes one.
As numerous injured players confirmed their inactive status for the NBA's restart in Orlando, Wizards sharpshooter Davis Bertans became the first to forego the action due to personal reasons. His was trying to avoid injury ahead of free agency.
Since then, players like Trevor Ariza, Avery Bradley and Willie Cauley Stein have opted out for family reasons, leaving a level of uncertainty for teams hoping to have their full rosters available in the bubble.
On the Redskins Talk and Friends podcast with JP Finlay, Pete Hailey and Mitch Tischler, NBC Sports' NBA insider Tom Haberstroh explained how Bertans' decision to sit out could prompt more players to do the same.
"If you're Davis Bertans, who's a big free agent this summer, who's had a career year and two ACL surgeries, he's like, 'Nah, I'm good,'" Haberstroh said. "If one of [the Wizards'] best players is already saying, 'I'm out,' you'd imagine a lot of players around the league will look at that and say, 'If he's gonna do it, if he's gonna sit this out, I might sit out too.'"
Meanwhile, the Wizards will have to make up the necessary ground in the standings without their second-best player. They are currently 5.5 games behind the Magic and six games behind the Nets and need to get within four games of the eighth seed to force a play-in tournament.
"I would say the Wizards have a good chance of getting in because they only have to make up two games in the standings, but now that Davis Bertans is out it's going to be very, very hard because he's as good as any big man shooter in the NBA," Haberstroh said.
With or without Bertans, it should be an interesting eight-game stretch for a Washington team that grew accustomed to playing shorthanded during the regular season. If they can manage to squeeze into the Eastern Conference playoffs, a meeting with the 53-12 Bucks awaits.
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