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Former Warriors center Willie Cauley-Stein is opting out of the NBA restart

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With a child on the way, the Mavericks big man is justifiably staying home.

Golden State Warriors v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

No one on the Golden State Warriors is heading to the Disney Resort in Orlando for the resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season. That’s because the Warriors are one of eight teams that weren’t invited, since they had no shot at the playoffs.

If you’re invested in players who used to wear a Warriors jersey, you’ll still have plenty of players to watch, but Willie Cauley-Stein is not one of them. The center signed a two-year deal with the Warriors during the offseason, and many people felt it was a steal. But with the team way out of playoff contention, trying to save money, and not getting too much production from Cauley-Stein, a separation felt inevitable. The Warriors traded him to the Dallas Mavericks in late January, getting a second-round draft pick in return.

But while the Mavericks are playoff bound, Cauley-Stein will have to wait at least another year to make his postseason debut. The fifth-year big has reportedly opted out of the NBA restart.

I won’t fault or question any player who doesn’t want to join a partial bubble in a state that is struggling to contain the coronavirus. And Cauley-Stein is no exception. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Cauley-Stein is staying home because he and his partner are expecting a child in July.

Since players are forced to be in the Orlando bubble rather than at home, Cauley-Stein likely would have missed the birth of his child, and the first few months of the kid’s life. Some things are more important than basketball, and this certainly qualifies.

He joins a growing list of players opting out of the restart, which includes Davis Bertans, Avery Bradley, and Trevor Ariza.