As many as 20 former Kentucky Wildcats will have a shot at making the 2019-20 NBA Playoffs once the season finally returns on July 31, but there are a few members of the BBNBA whose status is still uncertain.
We already know that Washington Wizards point guard John Wall will miss the remainder of the year with hopes of starting next season in perfect health and tip-top shape. Now our heads turn to New Orleans Pelicans forward Darius Miller, who has been rehabbing for nearly a year now.
Miller hasn’t played an NBA game since March 28, 2019. He was forced to undergo surgery to repair a ruptured right Achilles a few months later in August and has not seen the court since. Not long before that, in July, the Pelicans actually signed Miller to a two-year, $14 million deal. He was originally expected to sit out the entirely of the 2019-20 season, but now the extension due to the coronavirus might allow him to make his return.
According to ESPN‘s Andrew Lopez, Miller’s status “is still up in the air” and there won’t be an update until the team goes through training camp, which is slated to start on June 30.
This is actually still up in the air. Miller has continued his rehab throughout quarantine. His status for Orlando won't be determined until the Pels go through the pre-bubble training camp.
If he is unable to go, I'd think one of the two-way guys fills his spot on the roster. https://t.co/qhRayFfG1H
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) June 8, 2020
The Pelicans are one of six teams that will have ground to make up if they want to make the postseason. They currently sit 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies in the standings, who own the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. In order to force a play-in tournament, they have to stay within four games of the Grizz. The Pelicans and Portland Trail Blazers are the two most dangerous teams to challenge the Grizz, in my opinion, and having Miller back in the fold would surely help the Pellies. In 69 games during the 2018-19 season, Miller shot 36.5 percent from distance on a career-high 5.3 attempts per outing.
Would there be an added risk in bringing back Miller to an environment like the bubble-concept, considering the severity of his injury? The last outcome either side wants is to reaggravate an injury that was almost healed.