Basketball: Trevor Ariza, Davis Bertans to skip NBA restart over Covid concerns, say US media reports

Davis Bertans (centre) heads for the net in New York City on Feb 12, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Portland Trail Blazers veteran Trevor Ariza and Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans have both opted to skip the National Basketball Association's planned season relaunch in Orlando as Florida battles a surge in coronavirus cases, according to reports on Monday (June 22).

Ariza elected to miss Portland's campaign after committing instead to a one-month visitation window with his son, ESPN reported.

The decision could cost him up to US$1.8 million (S$2.5 million) in lost earnings if the Blazers make it into the NBA playoffs.

His decision comes ahead of a Wednesday deadline players have been given to notify teams if they decide not to play. Teams are required to inform the NBA of their final rosters by July 1.

Meanwhile, Washington forward Bertans will miss the restart as a precautionary measure, ESPN reported.

The 27-year-old is set to agree terms on a new long-term contract when he enters free agency and has already suffered two serious knee injuries in his career.

The two withdrawals come as Florida battles to get a grip on its coronavirus outbreak, with a record daily total of 4,049 new infections recorded on Saturday.

On Monday, Florida passed a grim milestone after becoming only the seventh American state to register more than 100,000 cases.

The spike in numbers come as Florida prepares to stage the return of both the NBA and Major League Soccer seasons in Orlando.

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