The NBA is dealing with its first substantial COVID-19 outbreak across the league just two weeks into the 2020-21 season, and with so many players sidelined due to health and safety protocols, it can be difficult to keep track of who is playing and who isn't, and for how long. In order to keep track of all the constantly changing information, here's an outline of what teams are currently dealing with on the COVID-19 front.
But first, here is a breakdown of the NBA's COVID-19 protocols for how long a player must remain quarantined.
- Anyone who tests positive will have two routes to return to work: go 10 days or more after the first positive test or onset of symptoms, or test negative twice at least 24 hours apart via PCR testing.
- Any player who tests positive, even if asymptomatic, will not be allowed to exercise for a minimum of 10 days and then must be monitored in individual workouts for an additional two days.
- Players who were in close contact with someone who tested positive will go through contact tracing and will be required to quarantine for seven days and continue to test negative before returning.
The Miami Heat have officially listed eight players who now sidelined due to the league's health and safety protocols. Those eight players are Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic, Kendrick Nunn, Moe Harkless, Avery Bradley, Udonis Haslem and KZ Okpala. Avery Bradley was originally the only player who was listed as out due to the league's health and safety protocols, but after contact tracing, the team found that other players needed to be isolated as well, which led to the Heat's game against the Celtics on Sunday being postponed.
With eight players out, in addition to Meyers Leonard, Kelly Olynyk and Gabe Vincent being listed on the injury report with various ailments, it's unclear if the Heat's game against the Sixers on Tuesday will be played, as Philadelphia is also dealing with its own outbreak. The Heat also wouldn't have the required number of players needed to play tomorrow, but there hasn't been an official announcement from the league in regards to that game. There haven't any timetables on how long each of these players will be out, as it's still not clear if anyone has tested positive for the virus, or if this is all due to close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
The Celtics currently have nine players sidelined, with seven of them quarantining due to the league's health and safety protocols. Those seven players are Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Tristan Thompson, Semi Ojeleye, Grant Williams, Robert Williams and Javonte Green. As a result, the Celtics' game against the Chicago Bulls slated for Tuesday has been postponed, as Boston doesn't have the required eight players needed to play a game.
Last Friday is when the outbreak was first reported within the Boston organization. The team announced that Thompson, Robert Williams and Grant Williams would all be required to self-isolate for a minimum of seven days due to the NBA's COVID-19 protocols. Robert Williams reportedly tested positive for the virus and has been asymptomatic, while Grant Williams and Thompson are being told to quarantine for contact tracing, per The Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach. Tatum's quarantine was reported Saturday afternoon, and he'll be sidelined for 10-14 days. Ahead of Boston's game on Sunday against the Miami Heat, the team also ruled out Ojeleye, Brown and Green. Boston was expected to play in its game incredibly shorthanded against the Heat without those four players, but that game was postponed because Miami couldn't field eight players to take the court.
Philadelphia currently has five players out due to COVID-19 protocols, including Seth Curry, Tobias Harris, Shake Milton, Matisse Thybulle and Vincent Poirier. The Sixers initiated contact tracing on the team after a positive COVID-19 test from Curry was discovered during the first quarter of their game against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday. Curry didn't play in that game, however, he remained on the bench with teammates through the first quarter before being removed and placed in isolation. Since Curry is the player who tested positive, he will be required to quarantine for 10 days after the first positive test, or register two negative COVID-19 tests 24 hours apart from each other before returning to basketball activities.
For the remaining Sixers players, they are currently under quarantine due to close contact with Curry, and will remain isolated indefinitely, which could be up to seven days, per the league's rules.
The Mavericks game against the New Orleans Pelicans slated for Monday has been postponed, as Dallas doesn't have enough players to suit up. Dallas learned of a positive COVID-19 test among three players -- Jalen Brunson, Josh Richardson and Dorian Finney-Smith -- before leaving Denver to fly back to Dallas after playing the Nuggets on Thursday. All three of those players remain in isolation in Denver, and will be sidelined for at least seven days.
After playing against the Orlando Magic on Saturday, it was then reported that forward Maxi Kleber tested positive for the virus, which caused the team to shut down its practice facility on Sunday. The Mavs were expected to play in Monday's game down four players, but after further contact tracing, the league announced that Dallas' game against New Orleans would be postponed. That means that at least five more Dallas players have entered isolation, and reportedly four Mavs players have tested positive for the virus, per The Dallas Morning News' Brad Townsend.
The Wizards announced Tuesday morning that practice has been canceled after two players entered health and safety protocols. Washington played Monday night against the Phoenix Suns, and are set to play the Utah Jazz Wednesday night in D.C. The Wizards are currently down two players due to injury, including Russell Westbrook who won't play for a week due to a quad injury and center Thomas Bryant who will be out for the season with a torn ACL.