The Houston Rockets are in the midst of dealing with a possible coronavirus spread within the organization. A group of players, including point guard John Wall and rookie forward Jae'Sean Tate, were sent home from practice Wednesday after rookie KJ Martin tested positive for the virus, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. However, Martin subsequently tested negative, and is now awaiting the results of yet another test.
Wall and DeMarcus Cousins both tested negative for COVID-19, but both were expected to miss the season opener Wednesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to coronavirus contact tracing, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. Wall, Cousins, Martin and a few other Rockets players were getting haircuts away from the team facility Tuesday night, which is why contact tracing was initiated by the team, according to Wojnarowski.
In addition to that potential spread, there's a possibility that James Harden could also miss the first game of the season. The NBA and the Rockets are investigating a video that shows Harden partying maskless at a strip club in Houston. If the video is deemed to be recent, then Harden would have violated the league's coronavirus protocols and be required to quarantine for a period of time. Harden, though, tested negative for the virus on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, per ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.
A few days ago, Rockets' Ben McLemore tested positive for COVID-19, and he's been isolating at home, per Wojnarowski. McLemore hasn't been with the team since he tested positive, and will be out for the season opener.
A list of potential Rockets players who could miss Wednesday's game are:
With all of the confirmed and potential absences, the Rockets are going to be cutting it close to having enough eligible players to start a game. League rules mandate that teams have at least eight healthy and active players. If all of those players listed above don't play, that would leave the Rockets with exactly eight eligible players to put on the court.