NBA COVID-19 Tracker: Kevin Durant Among Eight Nets Players in Logs; Kings fear breakout, per report
The surge in COVID-19 cases in the NBA has resulted in the league reportedly discussing changes to its health and safety protocols with the National Basketball Players Association. The Omicron variant is here, and according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, there was the first confirmed case in the NBA’s player pool this week.
With coach Alvin Gentry and several players in the logs, Adrian Wojnarowski from ESPN said the Sacramento Kings from training planned for Thursday and temporarily closed their training facility. The Kings – who saw guard De’Aaron Fox take minutes Thursday – reportedly fear more players will test positive and that Friday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies could be in jeopardy.
Should an outbreak occur, Sacramento could find itself in the same position as the Chicago Bulls. The NBA has postponed Chicago’s games against the Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors (originally scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday) since December 1st. 10 of its players have made health and safety logs, as have broadcasters Stacey King and Bill Wennington. King tweeted Wednesday that he tested negative on Tuesday night but still has a high fever and feeling weak.
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Several Bulls can return on Sunday if they host the Los Angeles Lakers, who will have a makeshift roster of their own. Avery Bradley joined three teammates on health and safety protocols Thursday, and the Lakers signed Isaiah Thomas with a hardship exception.
Apart from these two games in Chicago, there have been no other postponements. However, the Brooklyn Nets only had eight active players – the league minimum for a game – when they hosted the Raptors on Tuesday. Seven Nets players are on the logs, and Brooklyn announced Thursday that it had signed Langston Galloway to a 10-day deal with a hardship exception. (The Shorthanded Bulls used hardship exceptions to sign Alfonzo McKinnie and Stanley Johnson, the latter of whom had health and safety logs before his first game.)
Five Charlotte Hornets players were recently on health and safety logs, but all have since been released.
Players who are not fully vaccinated are required to submit health and safety records if they are found to be a close contact with someone who tests positive. Starting Friday, players who haven’t received a booster shot will be subject to stricter restrictions, including matchday testing.
If a player tests positive for COVID-19, they must isolate immediately until 10 days have passed after this test or symptoms appear, or until two PCR tests 24 hours apart test negative.
Also in health and safety logs: Indiana Pacers trainer Rick Carlisle and Toronto’s President Masai Ujiri. The Nets have coaches and front office members on logs, Steve Nash said Tuesday, and the Lakers have staff on logs too.
The Raptors announced on Wednesday that they will play home games against the Golden State Warriors at 50 percent capacity from Saturday. Her G-League team, Raptors 905, followed suit on Thursday.
Players who recently cleared health and safety logs include LaMelo Ball of the Hornets, Dillon Brooks of the Memphis Grizzlies, Kyle Kuzma of the Washington Wizards, Josh Richardson of the Boston Celtics, Justin Holiday of the Indiana Pacers, and Austin Rivers from the Denver Nuggets.
Here is a team-by-team list of players in health and safety logs, along with the date they signed up:
- Michael Porter Jr. (December 17)
- Bol Bol (December 17th)
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Lakers
- Kendrick Nunn (December 17)
- Avery Bradley (December 16)
- Austin Reaves (Dec 17)
- Ja Morant (December 8th; indefinite absence with knee sprain)
- Precious Achiuwa (down since December 12, not because of NBA health and safety protocols, but because he is required to isolate himself as close contact with a person who tests positive under Toronto public health guidelines; could return against the Warriors on Saturday)