The Portland Trail Blazers have Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic back for the NBA bubble, but they’re still fairly light at small forward. Rodney Hood is still recovering from serious injury, and Trevor Ariza opted not to join the team in Orlando.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports is reporting that the team had hoped Ariza would rejoin the team at some point:
The possibility was explored, but sources said the Trail Blazers had to have previously applied for a hardship waiver or a late-arrival form for Ariza to be considered for entry into the bubble. Even if those steps were taken, the league would have likely denied the request because Ariza chose to opt out, wasn’t included on the restart roster and didn’t arrive with his team on July 9.
Players within the organization were upset with the outcome, sources said. Portland added Jaylen Adams to the roster as a replacement player.
The idea of checking in with Ariza arose when New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson and Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell left the bubble to tend to family matters. Ariza’s situation is different, but it’s still a family matter.
Ariza reportedly opted out of the bubble in order to spend time with his son. But because his visitation period had been amended with a conclusion date now near the start of August, there was hope among the players that Ariza might be allowed into the bubble.