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: While we wait for more news out of Golden 1 Center, the decision to cancel or not have a standard practice for today was made last night due to the ongoing covid situation. Players were waiting for PCR test results leading up to the opening tip.
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.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Sacramento Kings cancelled today's practice, shut down the team's facility and have growing concerns whether a Covid outbreak will allow them to play Friday night's game vs. Memphis, sources tell ESPN. The team continues to test and retest players and staff.
Shams Charania: Sources: The Sacramento Kings are having a COVID-19 outbreak of multiple positive tests among players and staffers, including Marvin Bagley, Alvin Gentry — with potentially multiple additional players and staff entering protocols. There are some symptomatic cases.
Shams Charania: Knicks‘ Kevin Knox II has entered health and safety protocols and is out vs. Houston tonight.
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!!!
Dan Woike: Lakers play by play man Bill Macdonald will not call tonight’s game between the Lakers and Mavericks because he tested positive for COVID-19. He’s asymptomatic and isolating. Latest in a series positives that includes three players
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: Sacramento Kings coach Alvin Gentry tested positive for Covid and won’t coach vs. Wizards tonight, Gentry tells ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Gentry needs successive negative tests 24 hours apart to return to bench. He says he’s largely asymptomatic, except for a scratchy throat. Sacramento will have an acting coach for its interim coach.
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.
James Ham: During his time as coach, Luke Walton confirmed that 100% of Kings coaches and staff were vaccinated. There is no confirmation on how many players are unvaccinated, but to start the season, a league source said all but 3 Kings players were vaccinated. That could have changed.
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.
If the Knicks are missing all three players vs. the Warriors, it might finally give Tom Thibodeau impetus to play point guard Kemba Walker, a DNP-CD the past seven games since his demotion.
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.
Ira Winderman: Heat broadcaster Jason Jackson joins forward Caleb Martin in NBA protocols. sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-h…
Adrian Wojnarowski: Chicago Bulls forward Alize Johnson has tested positive for Covid and entered league protocols, source tells ESPN.
Josh Robbins: Thomas Bryant (knee injury recovery), Rui Hachimura (return to competition conditioning) and Kyle Kuzma (health and safety protocols) are listed as OUT for Monday's Wizards game in Denver. They are the only people Wizards officials listed on their team's injury report.
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.
KC Johnson: Late Saturday, Nikola Vucevic said “most players” had received booster shots. Bulls also were fully vaccinated as of early November. Billy Donovan said some players are asymptomatic. This could be a bumpy winter for the league.
Shams Charania: Knicks‘ RJ Barrett has entered health and safety protocols and is out today vs. Bucks.
Shams Charania: Wizards’ Kyle Kuzma has entered health and safety protocols and is listed out tonight vs. Utah.
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.
Aaron Rose: Masai Ujiri has tested positive for COVID-19
Vivek Jacob: Patrick Mutombo is unavailable to coach tonight's 905 game due to health and safety protocols. Assistant Chris Thomas will be in charge instead.
Michael Singer: Austin Rivers confirmed he had COVID on his IG live and has been quarantining in Orlando (where he has a house). Added the time off’s been good for his mental and physical health. Rivers said he’s been playing through injuries all season.
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.
Shams Charania: The Bulls now have four players in COVID-19 health and safety protocols — guard Matt Thomas is expected to miss several games, sources said. Thomas joins DeMar DeRozan, Coby White and Javonte Green in protocols.
Shams Charania: Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan will miss at least 10 days in health and safety protocols, or unless he has two negative tests in 24-hour period moving forward, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
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: Charlotte Hornets guards LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier have both entered COVID-19 health and safety protocols and are expected to miss several games, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
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.
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James said he was “confused,” “frustrated,” and “angry” after he was required to miss a game while in the NBA's health and safety protocols for a false positive COVID-19 test. James returned to the Lakers’ lineup in a 119-115 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.
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.
Ryan Ward: Anthony Davis on LeBron James: "COVID is a scary thing, especially with all the new variants coming out. He says he's good and is asymptomatic."
Shams Charania: 76ers‘ Joel Embiid (COVID-19) and Tobias Harris (hip) will return to lineup tonight vs. Minnesota.
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
Rich Hoffman: Doc Rivers on Joel Embiid, said that he's working out at the practice facility in Camden: "He passed one of the tests, I think he has another big one today. Then after that, we have to decide what we want to do. But the fact that he's out working again is huge."
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
Chris Fedor: Neither #Cavs Lauri Markkanen nor Jarrett Allen are listed on injury report for tomorrow night. Cedi Osman (back) and Lamar Stevens (ankle) are DOUBTFUL.
Keith Pompey: #Sixers swingman @Matisse Thybulle will play tonight. He’s not scheduled to play a lot of minutes.
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.
Rob Schaefer: Billy Donovan said that, as of last update, Nikola Vucevic hasn't advanced to cardiovascular testing phase of health and safety protocol, meaning he's not yet producing negative COVID-19 tests Vucevic entered protocol six days ago (Nov. 11)
Justin Garcia: Khris Middleton is expected to return on Wednesday - just in time for a 5 game homestand
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.
Keith Pompey: Tobias Harris could return from COVID-19 for the Sixers’ game Thursday against the Raptors inquirer.com/sixers/sixers-… via @phillyinquirer
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.”
Ky Carlin: Doc Rivers says the testing is fine and they went through all the protocols today. They’re concerned with the players who have COVID. He added Isaiah Joe is doing ok, but it’s only the 1st day. #Sixers
The streaking 76ers will be without their second-best player for an extended period of time. Tobias Harris tested positive for COVID-19 and could be sidelined at least 10 days, according to sources. The power forward, who is vaccinated, received the positive PCR test result on Tuesday night. A vaccinated player only has to take a test if they are symptomatic or were in close contact with someone who has tested positive. Harris was both. He has been experiencing fatigue and congestion.
Shams Charania: Spurs center Jakob Poeltl has entered health and safety protocols and is expected to miss several games, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Poeltl is averaging 13.9 points and 9.7 rebounds for San Antonio so far this season.
Adrian Wojnarowski: NBA players testing positive have two avenues toward a return to play -- waiting 10 days from testing positive or onset of symptoms, or passing consecutive negative PCR tests 24 hours apart. Finally, players who experienced symptoms must pass cardiac testing prior to a return.
Shams Charania: Sources: Cleveland's Lauri Markkanen is expected to miss several games due to health and safety protocols. Around NBA, Markkanen, Cavaliers' Kevin Love, Milwaukee's Khris Middleton and Philadelphia's Tobias Harris have entered protocols this week.
Keith Pompey: #Sixers PF Tobias Harris received a positive COVID-19 test, according to sources. He will miss at least 10 days. This is sad for the vaccinated player, who took all the proper precautions to remain safe.
Jamal Collier: Khris Middleton has tested positive for COVID-19, per Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer. Team thought he’d originally come down with a cold/flu, but when he didn’t improve he got tested
Marc Stein: Milwaukee's Khris Middleton is the NBA's latest player to enter the league's health and safety protocols ... after Cleveland's Kevin Love and Philadelphia's Tobias Harris yesterday.
Tim Bontemps: Ime Udoka says Al Horford is doing OK after testing positive for COVID-19. Based off when he tested positive (yesterday), he should miss the opener against the Knicks in New York next week. He could be back for the home opener against Washington next Friday.
Jared Weiss: Ime Udoka said he was likely going to rest the main guys tonight regardless of Jaylen Brown and Al Horford being out due to COVID. Coaches are still working with Brown and Horford remotely to do what work they can from home isolation.
Aaron Rose: Nick Nurse said there were no changes to the team's COVID testing after finding out that Al Horford, who the Raptors played on Saturday, tested positive. He did say, "I think you’re mostly concerned with the guys out there playing against him."
John Karalis: Boston Celtics announce Al Horford has tested positive for COVID-19 and is in isolation
Jared Weiss: Jaylen Brown tested positive for COVID-19 today, per the Celtics. Team says he is asymptomatic and quarantining.
Abby Chin: #Celtics announce new Head Coach Ime Udoka has a breakthrough case of Covid-19. He is in his 10th day of isolation and will not be at media day. Udoka is expected to be at the opening of training camp Tuesday.
Kellan olson: Devin Booker on his Twitch stream (http://twitch.tv/dbook ) confirms he has COVID-19. Said it has been about a week and he'll be back in no time. He said he's straight right now and the worst part is no taste and smell. He did not want to say if he has been vaccinated or not.
Former NBA All-Star and Slam Dunk Contest champion Cedric Ceballos tweeted Monday that he'd been moved out of isolation and was "COVID-19 free" but was still in the intensive care unit and dealing with several things relating to the virus. Thanking those wishing him well in recent days, Ceballos said that while he is out of isolation, he still is unable to "breathe, walk or function" on his own yet. "I will still fight and I ask for uplifting on your end," Ceballos said.
Rockets coach Stephen Silas was unable to attend Friday’s introductory news conference for the team's draft picks because he is in NBA health and safety protocols. Silas said he has “very minor symptoms” and that he is fully vaccinated for COVID. NBA protocols require coaches, players and staff to isolate if they have been in contact with individuals that tested positive.
Spain players Marc Gasol, Alberto Abalde and Usman Garuba have been placed in semi-isolation after coming into close contact with with a person who tested positive for COVID-19,EFE reports, citing confirmation by the Spanish Federation. All three players can practice and play in the games but have to stay in individual rooms and travel in a different vehicle than the rest of the national team squad.
Marc J. Spears: USA Basketball Team member Zach LaVine has cleared USA Basketball's health and safety protocols and will join the USA team in Tokyo Thursday afternoon. LaVine, who went into USA Basketball's health and safety protocols Monday and did not travel with the team to Tokyo.
ESPN host and analyst Jay Williams won't broadcast the remaining games of the NBA Finals because he has tested positive for coronavirus. Williams, who in a video posted online said he is vaccinated, is "doing OK." He will, however, miss the remainder of the NBA Finals in his role as an analyst on ABC's live on-site studio coverage during games alongside Maria Taylor, Adrian Wojnarowski and Jalen Rose. "The last couple of days for me have been challenging. But I wanted to be the first to tell you guys that you will not see me at Game 5, Game 6 or a potential Game 7 of the NBA Finals because I have tested positive for COVID. I have received both my shots. I am fully vaccinated. But this is our new normal."
Williams will quarantine in a hotel room for the next 10 days. His 2 1/2-year-old daughter is immunosuppressed, he said, so he and his family have been "hypersensitive" to the virus. "This is a great reminder ... that we have to continue to be as diligent as possible," he said.
To be clear, he is in Team USA’s COVID-19 protocols. The Athletic does not report a player’s status as it relates to the virus without the player announcing/confirming it. He is still in Las Vegas, sources said, but is quarantined while awaiting further information, and no decisions will be made until Beal and Team USA have all the facts. The Olympics begin July 23 in Tokyo, with Team USA’s first game set for July 25. Generally speaking, any athlete who tests positive for the virus now will not be permitted to compete.
Is any other Team USA player or coach in the protocol? No, sources said. Nor would the team be in danger of disqualification from the Olympics due to contact tracing. Last week, three players on the select team — Immanuel Quickley, P.J. Washington and Miles Bridges — were sent home after being placed in COVID protocol. If a player or coach is vaccinated, it can impact whether they are placed in the protocol.
Stefan Bondy: Immanuel Quickley did not test positive for COVID-19 but was pulled from Team USA Select camp because of contact tracing, according to a source.
Gabriel Deck tested positive for coronavirus, the Argentina Basketball Confederation announced Friday. Deck, 26, has been retested ahead of the planned trip of the senior Argentina national team to Las Vegas. The results of the second test are pending. He will rejoin the national team training camp once he is cleared, assuming the second test confirms he contracted COVID-19. In the meantime, he remains isolated. He is asymptomatic and in very good health, as noted by the CABB.
Kellan Olson: Chris Paul said he messed around a bit on the court at his house but other than that didn't do anything while he was under health and safety protocols. On testing positive for the virus: "Shit happens."
July 3, 2022 | 7:04 pm EDT Update
Marc Stein: Frank Ntilikina’s $2 million contract for next season becomes guaranteed tomorrow and the Mavericks’ intention, league sources say, is indeed to retain the former Knicks lottery pick. More NBA from me: marcstein.Substack.com
ClutchPoints: “Brooklyn wants a massive group of draft picks back, first-round picks, pick swaps, and they also want an All-Star level player.” @wojespn on what the Brooklyn Nets want in return for Kevin Durant
July 3, 2022 | 6:31 pm EDT Update
July 3, 2022 | 5:04 pm EDT Update
Kevin Durant’s quest to find a new home as he waits for a trade from the Brooklyn Nets could take him to a place he knows very well. Appearing on ESPN Radio, Marc J. Spears of Andscape called the Golden State Warriors a team to “keep an eye on” for Durant. Spears later took to Twitter to give more context to his report. Spears noted the Warriors “could” potentially offer the best package for both sides, with a deal involving Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman.