Trevor Ariza opting out of remainder of NBA season over child custody issue
Washington Wizards sharpshooter David Bertans on Monday became the first NBA player to opt out of the resumption of the 2019-20 season, and Trevor Ariza is doing the same.
Ariza has informed the Portland Trail Blazers that he will not be joining the team when play resumes in Orlando, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. The reason is that he’s in a custody battle over his 12-year-old son and has been granted a one-month visitation window during the time when players would need to be quarantined in Orlando.
Sources: Ariza has been involved in a custody case over his 12-year old son, and mother’s choice of granting a court-ordered one month visitation period during league’s quarantine of teams in Orlando left Ariza to choose those parenting responsibilities over competing in restart. https://t.co/STYQi2RGDW
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 22, 2020
There has been talk that players could opt out of the resumption of the season due to coronavirus concerns and/or the social justice movement, but neither Ariza nor Bertans is citing that as a reason. Bertans reportedly does not want to risk getting hurt before he becomes a free agent this offseason.
Ariza, 34, is averaging 8.0 points and 4.6 rebounds per game this season. The Blazers have a decent shot at making the playoffs, as they are currently in 9th place in the Western Conference and 3.5 games behind the No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies. Portland will have eight regular season games in Disney World to make up that difference, but they’ll have to do it without Ariza.