NBA rumors: Fred VanVleet enters COVID protocols

Adrian Wojnarowski: Toronto Raptors guards Fred VanVleet and Malachi Flynn have entered the league’s Covid protocols, sources tell ESPN.

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Chris Kirschner: Trae Young is still in health and safety protocols. He’s also the only Hawks player in health and safety protocols.
Chris Grenham: The Celtics will almost certainly have to go get more replacement players as both of their two-way players are currently in the protocols. Luke Kornet and Theo Pinson have already signed elsewhere off of Maine’s roster. There will be plenty of movement throughout the day today.
“I’ve been getting calls from our players all day – ‘Michele, are they going to cancel Christmas (games)?,'” National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts said Sunday. “People are concerned about who would ultimately be available to play. And the answer is, I don’t know. .. it is, obviously, concerning. There are some questions right now about some of our so-called marquee players’ availability to be able to play on Christmas. That’s our day, and we’d hate to not be able to continue to own that day, But one might ask the question – if your marquee guys are all in quarantine, is it worth playing those games, or should those games be, if they can be, postponed? No one’s asked me. But at this point, I think it’s still coming down to prayer.”
It’s the renewed anxiety about having to go through this again, just as crowds had returned to the league after a year-plus of playing in empty buildings. “We thought we’d gone through the worst, and the notion it might not be the worst is pretty spooky,” Roberts said. “We had, what, 97, 98 percent vax rate. … We thought we’ve done all that’s humanly possible, and we’ll be able to plow through the season. And all of a sudden, it’s worse than it was before. There’s a certain amount of, I guess, depression – now, what else?”
Keith Smith: Talked to one front office executive and he said after the roster amendment agreement, last night and this morning “Have been like the end of the Draft. Everyone is scrambling for the same players and pitching them on why their team is best. It’s exactly like camp signings.”
Mike Singer: Austin Rivers on his IG live, with how the league is trending: "You bout to see 6-foot-8 ******* in cubicles. Guys gonna have real jobs."
Adrian Wojnarowski: Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen is one of the five players entering the league's Covid protocols, sources tell ESPN. Allen's having an All-Star-caliber season with averages of 16.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.
Shams Charania: Sources: Philadelphia-New Orleans tonight appears in jeopardy: Andre Drummond and Shake Milton have entered COVID-19 protocols, joining Georges Niang. Furkan Korkmaz (illness) and three others are out and Danny Green, Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey are questionable to play.
Tim MacMahon: Mavs reserve Josh Green has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols. He had previously been listed as out due to illness. Now two Mavs (Reggie Bullock) in protocols.
“Then I started getting a little bit of body aches, then you get headaches, next thing you know I’m draining my nose, next thing you know I’m breathing really, really heavy at night,” Rivers told The Denver Post ahead of Friday night’s game against the Hawks, his first with the team since Nov. 29. “Especially at night, I was really struggling a little bit to where I started getting really nervous and scared,” he said. “And then mentally, it plays on your head. Now that you know you have this and you’re breathing hard, you’re overdoing it. I’m thinking crazy, ‘Is it going to get better, or like, what’s going on here?’”
The six players with COVID-19 are the youngest players on their roster. Two of them were drafted this year, two last year, one in 2019 and the other in 2018. All the Knicks are vaccinated. According to a source, almost none of them have experienced any legitimate symptoms. Last season, the Knicks’ two COVID-19 cases experienced symptoms — Derrick Rose and Alec Burks.
Then, on Saturday, news broke that Kyrie Irving had become the latest Net to enter health and safety protocols, joining his co-stars Kevin Durant and James Harden. Sources confirmed to NetsDaily that Irving’s placement in the protocols was due to a positive COVID test.
Kyle Goon: Russ said he had three negative tests after his initial positive. He took a plane from Dallas and landed in Minneapolis around 2:30-3 p.m.
Yaron Weitzman: Joel Embiid on increase in NBA COVID cases: "I thought last year there was great precautions in place and this year it was just all over the place and I just thought it was unprofessional and that's where we are now."
Rivers has spoken to Niang since he tested positive. The coach said their conversation was filled with laughter but noted that Niang is “mad” at his situation. “He doesn’t know how he got it,” Rivers said. “The same thing you get from almost everyone who gets it because they are frustrated, because they feel like they’re trying to do the right stuff. And his first worry is, does anyone else have it? That’s everyone’s first question, because they don’t want to be that guy, you know?
The recent surge in Covid cases has ESPN analyst and former NBA head coach Jeff Van Gundy fearing the league will need to do something drastic and unpopular. “I really feel that at some point there’s gonna be a pause to our season, a bubble to our season,” Van Gundy said during ESPN’s Wednesday night NBA broadcast. “The way they’re predicting these cases to continue to go… I don’t see any way around it.” “Clearly we hope that you’re wrong,” play-by-play voice Mike Breen replied.
Jason Anderson: Sources confirm the Sacramento Kings have additional COVID-19 cases and there is interal concern over the number of players who will be available Friday vs. the Memphis Grizzlies. Today's practice has been cancelled and the team facility is closed. More to come at @sacbee_news.
James Ham: According to a league source, all activities have been officially canceled by the Kings today. There are internal concerns that additional players will enter health and safety protocols, either for positive tests or as part of contact tracing.
Stacey King: Tested negative last night but still dealing with after effects like high temperature and still very weak. I have zero strength right now and I'm a ways to being back to my normal self but I'm blessed to have made it through this horrible disease! Covid sucks!!!
Kyle Goon: Can confirm @Dan Woike report that Bill Macdonald is not calling the game tonight after entering protocols. Phil Handy, assistant, is also in the protocols.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Kings cancelled morning shoot-around and team is testing to discover if there are more positive tests, sources tell ESPN. There’s no decision yet on an acting head coach for tonight, although assistants Mike Longabardi and Doug Christie are most likely candidates.
The Knicks now have three players in COVID-19 protocols as rookie shooting guard Quentin Grimes has been ruled out Tuesday vs. the Warriors. Grimes is coming off a breakout 27-point performance Sunday vs. Milwaukee when he hit a rookie record seven 3-pointers. Knicks power forward Obi Toppin, who previously had the hot hand, was put into protocols Saturday night and missed the game against the Bucks. RJ Barrett was put into protocols Sunday morning and was also absent.
Michael Singer: #Nuggets are expecting Austin Rivers back tomorrow from health & safety protocol, I’m told. In addition, today also marks last day of Davon Reed’s 10-day, so he’s likely headed back to Grand Rapids. With Rivers coming back, team isn’t expecting any more hardship exceptions.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Bulls guard Coby White is returning to the team’s facility today for the first time since testing positive for Covid on Dec. 1, sources tell ESPN. White will start ramping up his return to play. Bulls play Pistons on Tuesday and Raptors on Thursday.
Indiana Pacers Head Coach Rick Carlisle has entered the NBA Health and Safety protocols and will miss multiple games after a PCR lab test returned positive for COVID-19. Assistant coach Lloyd Pierce will assume head coaching duties during Carlisle's absence, starting with tonight's game against the Dallas Mavericks.
Ja Morant's return to the Memphis Grizzlies could be delayed further as the star guard entered the NBA's health and safety protocols on Wednesday, the team announced. Morant was not present at shootaround this morning. He's still recovering from a sprained knee and per coach Taylor Jenkins' timeline of a "couple of weeks", he wasn't expected to return for the Grizzlies' three remaining games this week.
Tim Bontemps: When asked if he could see the league having to tighten up protocols, Donovan says “I think that’s already happening.” Said he anticipates them continuing to tighten given the way things are trending.
Charlotte Hornets PR: UPDATE: @Charlotte Hornets have placed the following players in the NBA's Health and Safety Protocols: LaMelo Ball, Jalen McDaniels, Mason Plumlee and Terry Rozier
Adrian Wojnarowski: After Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier entered into health and safety protocols, there’s concern of more possible positive Covid tests on the Hornets, sources tell ESPN. Team sent players and staff home from practice facility.
Shams Charania: Ball and Rozier are expected to be sidelined for at least 10 days, or unless they record two negative tests in a 24-hour period moving forward, sources said. Charlotte will be without its young star and fellow starting guard for the time being.
James said he knew he was going to get cleared because he never felt sick at all. James said earlier this season that he was vaccinated. “If what I had was a positive COVID test, then what are we doing? What are we talking about?" James said Friday. “I just thought it was handled very poorly, but being able to get cleared was definitely a breath of fresh air for not only myself, but for my family, friends and everybody that’s involved.”
LeBron James said his brief stint in the NBA's health and safety protocols left him feeling "confused," "frustrated" and "angry" after his first game back in the Lakers' 119-115 loss to the LA Clippers on Friday night. James missed the Lakers' game against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday after returning a positive test for COVID-19 on Tuesday morning that required him to isolate from his team and fly back to L.A. solo on a plane chartered by the team. "I knew I was going to get cleared because I never, ever felt sick at all," James said after finishing with 23 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals against the Clippers. "I just thought it was just handled very poorly."
James said he tested negative first and his second test came back positive. He said he had to figure out a way to get home from Sacramento by himself Tuesday, as he wasn’t allowed to have anyone travel home with him. When he returned to Los Angeles, James had to put his family in isolation, calling it a “big-time inconvenience.” “Usually when you have a positive test, they’ll test you right away to make sure,” James said. “There was not a follow-up test after my positive test. It was straight into isolation and you’ve been put into protocol. That was the part that kind of angered me.”
Friday's loss dropped the Lakers to 12-12, seventh in the Western Conference, with their next game coming Tuesday at home against a Boston Celtics team that beat L.A. soundly at TD Garden on Nov. 19. "It's just tough when you're in and out of the lineup, especially when you, I guess, don't really have a reason to be out," Anthony Davis said, looking back at the James saga. "We were playing well. So it's just frustrating a little bit, but no one is feeling sorry for us. We're not feeling sorry for ourselves. We got to go out there and play basketball games with whoever is available."
Donovan said he spoke Wednesday to guard Coby White, who missed the game after testing positive for the coronavirus and being placed into the NBA's health and safety protocols. He said the guard's experience sounded similar to how it was for Vucevic when he missed seven games earlier. “Just felt like he has a cold,” Donovan said. “I don’t know if his symptoms progressively get worse or not, obviously it was one day since we found out. But just in my conversation with him, he didn’t feel too bad.”
Denver Nuggets guards Bones Hyland and Austin Rivers have entered into the league's health and safety protocols, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Wednesday. If they test positive for the virus, they will be away from the team for at least 10 days, which would result in at least six missed games.
Shams Charania: Sources: Nuggets guard Austin Rivers has entered health and safety protocols and is expected to miss several games, including tonight's game vs. Orlando. Another loss to the Denver lineup, now without Rivers, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.
Julia Poe: Nikola Vucevic will travel with the Bulls for this week's trip to Houston and Orlando. This doesn't mean he'll play — Donovan says that's still up to the team doctors — but this means he could make his big homecoming in Orlando on Friday.
Rob Schaefer: Billy Donovan said Nikola Vucevic is still in cardiovascular testing phase of COVID protocol. Not sure yet if he’ll travel to Houston and Orlando later in week, will know more after tonight’s game Added Vucevic seems to be doing “great” and it’s been good to catch up with him
Rob Schaefer: Nikola Vucevic is out of isolation and beginning cardiovascular testing, per Billy Donovan. Adds he expects Vucevic to be in the arena tonight
Adrian Wojnarowski: The NBA is planning increased Covid testing for staff and players throughout the Thanksgiving holidays, sources tell ESPN. The league is obviously trying to avoid team-wide breakouts as families get together later this month.
Chicago Bulls center Nikola Vucevic tested positive for COVID-19 and entered the NBA's health and safety protocols on Thursday, sources told ESPN. The Bulls listed Vucevic in the protocols, but the positive test means the two-time All-Star selection will be sidelined for 10 days or until he has two negative PCR tests in a 24-hour period.
Noah Levick: Doc Rivers: Joel Embiid is “not doing great, he’s struggling with it. Similar to Tobias.” Rivers says Sixers having four players in health and safety protocols is “clearly a concern.”
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July 6, 2022 | 11:21 pm EDT Update

Devin Booker signs supermax contract extension with Suns

The Phoenix Suns today signed guard Devin Booker to a contract extension. “Devin has had a truly special impact on our organization, our fanbase and the Valley community since he first arrived in Phoenix,” said Managing Partner Robert Sarver. “We are grateful for all his contributions and we are thrilled to ensure that he will remain in a Phoenix Suns uniform into the future.”