Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the news Monday, noting Ariza is opting out of playing because of a one-month visitation window he has with his 12-year-old son. According to Wojnarowski, Ariza is in a custody battle, and his son's mother elected to grant the court-ordered one-month visitation period during the time the NBA planned on isolating teams in a bubble-like environment in Florida.
Portland acquired Ariza from the Sacramento Kings via trade in January, and he averaged 11.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.6 steals a night in 21 games since the deal. He also connected on 40 percent of his three-pointers, taking advantage of the openings playing alongside Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum creates.
The Trail Blazers could have used that shooting in Orlando, Florida, as they attempt to make up ground on the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies. Portland is 3.5 games behind the Grizzlies and tied with the New Orleans Pelicans and Kings.
Each of the 22 teams will play eight regular-season games, and there will then be a play-in tournament for the No. 8 seed if the No. 9 seed is within four games.
Ariza also could have been a veteran leader for the team in what figures to be an unusual situation. The 34-year-old has also played for the New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Pelicans (then called the Hornets), Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns and Trail Blazers throughout his career.
Ariza is not the only player who will sit out when the league attempts to restart its season that has been suspended since March 11 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wojnarowski and Tim Bontemps reported Wizards forward Davis Bertans will not play either as he prepares for free agency. Bertans has notably suffered multiple ACL injuries in his career.