Chris Kirschner: For tonight’s game at Philadelphia: Clint Capela (health and safety protocols) is out. Danilo Gallinari (health and safety protocols) is out. Solomon Hill (right hamstring tear) is out. Kevin Huerter (health and safety protocols) is out.
Shams Charania: The NBA and NBPA are in talks on shortened quarantines for players who test positive for COVID-19, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Sides are discussing allowing players to return faster – as soon as six days – based on testing cycle threshold.
Chris Kirschner: De’Andre Hunter (right wrist injury recovery) is out. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (health and safety protocols) is out. Lou Williams (health and safety protocols) is out. Trae Young (health and safety protocols) is out.
Shams Charania: Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter Freedom has entered COVID-19 health and safety protocols, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. He becomes the eighth Celtic to enter protocols.
Adrian Wojnarowski: New Orleans Pelicans G Nickeil Alexander-Walker has entered the league’s Covid protocols, sources tell ESPN. He had 27 points in victory over Portland on Tuesday. Alexander-Walker is Pels’ first player in protocols this season.
Adrian Wojnarowski: RJ Barrett is out of Covid protocols, the Knicks say.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Jevon Carter is also out of health and safety protocols. That makes 3 Nets (James Harden, Paul Millsap and Carter) out of health and safety protocols.
As The Athletic reported last week, the NBA has put some thought to allowing COVID-positive but asymptomatic players to keep playing instead of quarantining — right now, the NBA says players must sit out at least 10 days after a positive test — but Silver said the NBA “is not quite there yet.” Any change would come after negotiation and an agreement with the NBA players union; no discussions about this have occurred yet, according to a source.
According to a person with direct knowledge of Silver’s thinking, the commissioner has confronted this month’s 100-plus new cases — and counting — by trying not to make up precedents on the fly. Silver, this high-level source tells Rolling Stone, knows he could be criticized even more for inventing parameters for a return-to-play than for believing in a vaccine mandate: “Just as there’s no magic playbook to when you shut down the season, there’s no playbook for when you come back. He has a rulebook right now, and his rulebook says that if you have eight players, you play.”
According to an internal memo sent from league doctors to teams on Thursday and obtained by RS, both sides have also agreed to increased masking and a temporary reinstatement of mandatory daily testing for vaccinated but unboosted players between Dec. 26 and Jan. 8. This annoys basketball players, who have been swabbed more than perhaps any industry’s employees throughout the pandemic, and sources suggested that the union is almost certain to let the policy lapse following the holidays.
While Adam Silver recently announced the NBA will not follow the NHL's lead and suspend the season, Goldstein says the best thing to do is shut it down. "Regardless of what the NHL did, the NBA should close down as soon as possible," Goldstein said at Dwight Howard's OxeFit after-party at the SoHo Warehouse. "Most of these players (who test positive) are healthy. If the NBA wants to let them play, that's another story. But if they forbid them from playing, I feel cheated as a fan, going to the games and watching G League players play instead of the stars."
Ohm Youngmisuk: Ty Lue said Reggie Jackson said he doesn’t have any symptoms and is feeling fine. Luke Kennard (hip), who is also out, has been dealing with a hip issue and felt sore this morning. So the Clippers see this as a good opportunity to get him rest between games.
Rylan Stiles: Mark Daigneault says they are aware they have been able to avoid COVID protocols but "no one is above the virus adds "there is a randomness" but the team is staying "humble" and as "vigilant" as possible.
Sarah K. Spencer: Kevin Huerter is now also out in health and safety protocols. That's six Hawks out in protocols now.
Anthony Slater: Damion Lee has entered health and safety protocols. Third Warriors player, joining Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins. Lee started in Poole’s place last game and scored 18. All three out vs Memphis tomorrow. So is Andre Iguodala. Knee swelling.
Rod Beard: #Pistons Cade Cunningham is the only DET player listed in health and safety protocols. Frank Jackson (right ankle inflammation) is listed as questionable, and Killian Hayes, who missed Tuesday's game because of a non-COVID illness, is NOT listed.
Tim Bontemps: Ime Udoka says Robert Williams will be back tonight but that the seven players in health and safety protocols remain in the same holding pattern, waiting for either enough days to go by or two negative tests more than 24 hours apart.
Shams Charania: Detroit Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham has entered health and safety protocols, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Shams Charania: 76ers guard Danny Green has entered COVID-19 protocols and is listed out vs. Hawks on Thursday. Fourth Philadelphia player in health and safety.
Kyle Goon: David Fizdale says Frank Vogel “is doing better, he’s doing great.” Says trying to work with Vogel coaching remotely is different for him (he was not coaching when the pandemic began) but he’s adjusting and making it work.
Ira Winderman: Heat injury report for Thursday vs. Pistons is out, with the following all listed as out: Jimmy Butler (tailbone) Bam Adebayo (thumb) Markieff Morris (neck) Victor Oladipo (knee) Caleb Martin (protocols) P.J. Tucker (leg) No other players currently on injury report.
Sarah K. Spencer: Lou Williams and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot have been added to health and safety protocols for the Hawks. Five players in protocols, including Trae Young, Clint Capela and Danilo Gallinari.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Knicks center Nerlens Noel has entered the league's Covid protocols, source tells ESPN.
Orlando Magic PR: The following players for the @OrlandoMagic will be out tonight at Atlanta due to NBA Health & Safety Protocols: - Mo Bamba - Ignas Brazdeikis - R.J. Hampton - Mychal Mulder - Terrence Ross - Moritz Wagner
But I've heard little surprise expressed in the Showcase crowds about the league's push to try to grit through the winter months as seen in 2020-21. The NBA did not bake flexibility into this season's schedule like it did last season by releasing only a first-half schedule for starters, so the desire to limit the number of game postponements that require second-half solutions by any means necessary was somewhat expected.
Adrian Wojnarowski: G-League players leaving Las Vegas to sign hardship exemptions to join NBA teams are eligible to play immediately, but must return negative tests for five consecutive days upon joining the new team, according to a memo obtained by ESPN. Those rules apply to vaccinated players.
Gerald Bourguet: In response to rising cases, Monty Williams said Chris Paul addressed the Suns as a team about what they all can do to do their part in minimizing the spread of COVID and keeping each other safe
Tim MacMahon: Injured Mavericks — including Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis — will not be on bench tonight due to COVID concerns. “We’re trying to stay away from each other as much as possible,” Jason Kidd said.
Eric Nehm: On the Bucks' first injury report for tomorrow's game against the Rockets, Wesley Matthews is no longer in the health and safety protocols.
Quinton Mayo: Wizards SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols after a positive test, is asymptomatic per source.
Rob Schaefer: Adam Silver says on ESPN that NBA player pool is around 97 percent vaccinated, 65 percent boosted. League would like to get boosted number near vaccinated number
Adrian Wojnarowski: Adam Silver tells @Malika Andrews that the Omicron variant constitutes 90 percent of the league's cases now. "Beyond dominant," he said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Cleveland Cavaliers F Ed Davis has entered the league's Covid protocols, sources tell ESPN. Cleveland has eight players in protocols, but traveled to Boston today and is expected to play vs. the Celtics on Wednesday. Cleveland's added two replacements and likely will add another.
Kevin Chouinard: Adam Silver, on ESPN: "No plans right now to pause the season."
Eric Koreen: On @espn with @Malika Andrews , Adam Silver says he has difficulty understanding what logic would be in pausing the season. “This virus will not be eradicated, so we have to learn to live with it."
Adrian Wojnarowski: Chicago Bulls forward Troy Brown is out of Covid protocols and returning to the team, source tells ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Toronto's Scottie Barnes and Precious Achiuwa have entered the league's Covid protocols, sources tell ESPN.
Two Hawks players, Danilo Gallinari and Clint Capela, plus three staff members entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols Tuesday. They join Trae Young, who entered protocols Sunday and is still there.
Sarah K. Spencer: Hawks have three hardship exception slots but as of now plan to only sign two players, Lance Stephenson and Malcolm Hill, I'm told. Those likely won't become official until tomorrow.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Atlanta Hawks forward Danilo Gallinari has entered the league's health and safety protocols, sources tell ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela has entered the league's Covid protocols too, sources tell ESPN. The Hawks are potentially without him, Trae Young and Gallinari on Christmas Day vs. the Knicks.
Darnell Mayberry: Bulls guard Devon Dotson has entered the league's health and safety protocols, sources tell @TheAthletic.
Shams Charania: Wizards guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has entered health and safety protocols, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Chase Hughes: Wes Unseld Jr. says KCP tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday evening. The Wizards just recently returned from a West Coast road trip.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sacramento Kings center Neemias Queta has entered the league's Covid protocols, sources tell ESPN.
Sarah K. Spencer: Symptoms for Trae Young, the two additional Hawks players in protocols and the three Tier 1 team personnel members are so far mild to asymptomatic, per source, so that's at least some good news that no one is feeling very ill.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The NBA told Christmas Day teams to be prepared for game times to shift as late as Dec. 24 with a priority on filling the ABC windows of 2:30 PM ET, 5 PM and 8 PM, according to memo shared with the 10 teams playing on Saturday.
Mark Murphy: Udoka on why COVID has flipped coaching on its head: "Different than injury or illness as far as (having) a sense of when guys will be back, or if they’ll be out. This is different. You’re almost holding your breath on a daily basis based on test results."
Fourteen fans were ejected from Saturday night’s Raptors win over the Golden State Warriors after failing to abide by masking protocols at Scotiabank Arena. Twenty-five fans received warnings about proper mask-wearing requirements, and more than half of those fans were eventually asked to leave the building, according to a spokesperson from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the Raptors’ parent company.
There were staff members, dressed in bright green shirts adorned with the words “mask compliance,” on hand at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday to make sure fans were following the protocols. Those who didn’t were first given a warning, in the form of a yellow card, before they were tossed.
Jovan Buha: Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy and Avery Bradley traveled back to LA from Dallas on Saturday evening, per the team.
Shams Charania: Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins has entered health and safety protocols.
Dane Moore: Josh Okogie is in health and safety protocols, TImberwolves say
Tommy Beer: 65 players have been forced to enter the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols this week: pic.twitter.com/V9FQPWKBus
James Ham: According to Doug Christie, Alvin Gentry is doing "spectacular." Not sure when he'll be back, but he's doing well.
Ryan McDonough: Unfortunately, NBA Front Offices are currently spending most of their time dealing with issues related to Covid Their players are entering the protocols rapidly, NBA games are getting postponed and scouting calendars are being disrupted as college and G League games get canceled
Adrian Wojnarowski: New Orleans-Philadephia has been postponed, source tells ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: There's optimism the Sixers will be able to resume play in Boston on Monday, sources tell ESPN.
Enes Kanter Freedom: How many @NBA players have to test positive for the league to postpone the season?
Shams Charania: The NBA is likely postponing the Nets’ next two games, including vs. Wizards on Tuesday, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium . Brooklyn has 10 players in COVID-19 protocols amid outbreak.
September 26, 2022 | 9:45 pm EDT Update
“Kawhi is always going to be the hardest worker. He likes to lead by example, but his voice he’s using more,” point guard Reggie Jackson said. “I know people got to see a little more even when he was in Toronto and since his time being here, but he’s become, interestingly enough, a vocal leader for us. “He implements himself when need be, says the right things at the right times.”
Jason Anderson: Matthew Dellavedova on De’Aaron Fox: “He’s a lot stronger than I realized. He’s lean and obviously everyone knows how fast he is, but he’s really strong. He’s got a very solid base and … I didn’t know he was that strong.”
September 26, 2022 | 8:24 pm EDT Update
“I didn’t even hear the comments,” Lowry said. “Someone else told me about ‘em.” And when he heard what was said? “It’s whatever,” Lowry said. “Honestly, he has his opinion, right? Everyone has their opinion and it doesn’t do anything for me. All I do is motivate myself, I always motivate myself.”
Caleb Martin said “I would love to start” at power forward but “as long as I’m playing and can be productive, that’s fine.” Martin said the fact the Heat bypassed signing several veteran power forwards “says a lot to me. I’m flattered. I accept the challenge.”
First, Jazz center Udoka Azubuike and Agbaji used to be roommates. During Azubuike’s junior and senior season at Kansas (Agbaji’s freshman and sophomore season) the two lived together. Agbaji said the two bonded over their shared background — Azubuike is from Nigeria. and so is Agbaji’s father, Olofu. “We connected in that way and my dad would cook for him all the time and bring him Nigerian meals,” Agbaji said. “When I got traded here, I sent him a text. I was like, ‘Hey, Dok, what’s up.’ And he said congrats and that he’s excited to have me here.”