NBA rumors: Nuggets expected to play tomorrow

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Tim Bontemps: Scott Brooks, like Brad Stevens, said the Wizards are just trying to follow all of the rules are being given to them as far as how to handle COVID-19. The Wizards played the Sixers and Seth Curry Wednesday. Curry, who scored 28 points in that game, tested positive yesterday.
Tim Bontemps: Brad Stevens says he fully trusts the NBA in terms of how it is handling COVID-19. "The reality is we know this is rampant right now. We are doing everything we can to prevent it, and it's still going to find its way into the league and the travel parties."
Shams Charania: The two Mavericks players who were exposed to COVID-19 have tested negative and are expected to remain so, sources said. Dallas flew home today and faces Orlando at home on Saturday.
Tom Orsborn: Drew Eubanks remains out in accordance with NBA health and safety protocols, according to #Spurs injury report. Pop indicated yesterday that Eubanks and two other members of the travel party had been given COVID-19 tests. It's unclear if they remained in L.A. for quarantine.
Fred Katz: As of now, there are no indications that the Wizards/Celtics game will be impacted tonight. It remains scheduled as is, 7:30pm ET start time. Three Celtics are out and in health and safety protocol. The Wizards played the 76ers on Wednesday. Philly had positive test last night.
Jared Weiss: Celtics say Tristan Thompson, Rob Williams and Grant Williams are out due to COVID protocols for a game tonight against a Wizards team that just faced Seth Curry, who tested positive yesterday. This game should be postponed.
Adam Himmelsbach: According to a league source, Robert Williams was the lone Celtics player to test positive for COVID-19 and has been asymptomatic. Tristan Thompson and Grant Williams are out for contact tracing.
The Philadelphia 76ers are quarantining in New York because of a positive COVID-19 test for guard Seth Curry. A person familiar with the situation says the Sixers stayed overnight after the team learned of Curry's positive result during Thursday's loss against the Nets. The person spoke to The Associated Press Friday on condition of anonymity because the team has not made Curry's condition public. The person said as of Friday morning Curry was the only positive test on the Sixers.
Starting Thursday, the NBA will require players, coaches and staff members to wear Kinexon SafeZone contact tracing sensors amid the COVID-19 pandemic, league sources confirmed to The Arizona Republic. ESPN first reported the news last week after obtaining memos from the league. “There’s certain things you have to do to stay in the league,” Williams said. “You got to work hard. Study. Game film. This is one more thing that we have to do to keep our livelihood, business and what we love to do in place.”
Jovan Buha: Alex Caruso says he never tested positive for COVID-19, but rather was in the league’s health & safety protocols because of contact tracing with someone he had seen after Christmas.
Dave McMenamin: Spurs asst Becky Hammon, who recently made history against the Lakers - becoming the first woman to serve as head coach during a regular season NBA game - is not with the team tonight. Gregg Popovich said pregame that one player and two staff members were in the safety protocol
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sixers guard Seth Curry returned a positive test for the coronavirus, which the team learned of near the start of a loss in Brooklyn tonight, sources tell ESPN. He went to an isolation room immediately, and thereafter left arena separate from team.
Ramona Shelburne: Curry was wearing a mask while he was on the bench, in accordance with NBA health and safety protocols. He wasn’t playing in the game due to left ankle soreness.
Keith Pompey: Back at their hotel, the #Sixers will test tomorrow morning , according to league sources.
Ramona Shelburne: The Sixers will stay over in New York and do their daily testing tomorrow. It’s unclear how long they’ll have to stay over.
Evan Fournier: I got my own tracking device now lol. pic.twitter.com/RpqVgvuHrY

http://twitter.com/EvanFourmizz/status/1347304958438342660
Michele Roberts knows calls are coming about the COVID-19 vaccines, calls about the NBA players she represents, calls from those very players and even calls about herself, a 64-year-old Black woman who could very well have the option to take the vaccine.
Even if the questions are the same, the answers may not be. The National Basketball Players Association executive director has been doing her own research on the viability of the vaccines, weighing whether she will take it. But whether she takes it doesn’t give a definitive indication on what her recommendation to the players will be — a reasonable complication of a very layered, complex and downright scary situation.
“I got some very close friends. And really smart people have said to me, ‘Michele, it’s a no-brainer, of course, you’ll take the vaccine,’” Roberts said in a recent phone conversation with Yahoo Sports. “Unlike my players, I’m considerably older than they are and probably further up on the list. “But I haven’t made up my mind. I’m eager to be convinced that these are safe. I’m hopeful I’ll be convinced that they’re safe. But I’m not a cheerleader … I’m not at a place yet where I would wholeheartedly and fulsomely say, absolutely, you have to take it.”
The NBA, according to league sources, is very sensitive to being accused of taking advantage and giving its players the vaccine ahead of frontline workers, the vulnerable and the elderly. “We won’t jump the line” is a familiar refrain stated by commissioner Adam Silver. But given the sporadic distribution and seemingly passive response by the current administration, there’s no rhyme or reason to “the line” after the obvious people who will receive it.
The league has answered questions on myriad topics with the players, ranging from players who’ve caught the virus already and are unsure of taking the vaccine, to the function of the antibodies with the vaccine. It can suggest but not demand players take it — which may or may not be reflective of what’s to come nationally. “So ... if I don’t see a national requirement, a federal requirement — [President-elect] Biden’s often said that he’s not prepared to go down that road,” Roberts said. “But I think that there are going to be enough pockets of industry, where you will see [pseudo]-requirements. I think that some private employers might be able to do it.”
Marc Stein: Kinexon sensors record proximity and duration when people wearing the sensors interact but do not track location or an individual’s movement. The device was mandatory in the Disney World bubble for team and league staff members (and reporters) but was optional for players there.
Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner When we hit 60 percent vaccine penetration, hopefully by April, the snapback for the NBA and live events will be like nothing we have ever seen. People will be so ready to go out and have fun at NBA games, at concerts and more. The NBA has a unique opportunity, as the sport in season then to really benefit as a brand and financially. Nothing will be more fun than a packed NBA game and a concert after the game. It’s going to be fun.
Nuggets small forward Michael Porter Jr.’s quarantine will end tonight, a league source told The Denver Post, and he’ll be available to play in Thursday night’s game against the Mavericks. Porter’s quarantine, which came as a result of contact tracing via the NBA’s health-and-safety protocols, began last Thursday, the source said. His seven-day protocol ends Wednesday night.
Temple's approach, and advice to his teammates, is to focus on the granular. "You can't tell a grown man what to do, obviously. But, for example, getting on the bus, me and Denzel (Valentine) were getting on the bus, and I was like 'Let me get some of this hand sanitizer while I'm walking into the bus.' Denzel was like, 'You right, let me get some too,'" Temple said. "Just doing things like that, going and washing your hands before shootaround, which everybody should be doing anyway. After shootaround, eat your food, things like that that you just do to make sure, to show people because it's just a new world out here. And be conscious about the things that you're doing to try to prevent the spread of the virus.”
Ian Begley: BKN coach Steve Nash says the length of Kevin Durant's quarantine is a 'moving target' based on several factors, including testing. He said some of the factors may be 'debatable' or 'in flux' so he isn't sure exactly how long Durant will be quarantining.
Beyond the financial impact — halftime entertainers typically make $1,500 to $5,000 a show — the effects of the pandemic have been felt within their community. David Maas, who had a popular act called Quick Change with his wife, Dania Kaseeva, died of Covid-19 in November. “My heart goes out to all my friends who are in this business,” said Jon Terry, a booking agent for halftime performers who is based in Oklahoma. “These are creative people, and in many cases, it’s their sole income. Some of these guys were making six-figure incomes, and you drop that out and there’s no place for them to do anything else.”
At the time, the couple had a long list of N.B.A. halftimes lined up for the rest of the season. They were also planning to bounce among festivals and circuses during the summer months in their 43-foot recreation vehicle, sometimes performing two or three times a day. On average, they do about 400 shows a year. Since March, the couple has performed exactly four times. Their return after a six-month hiatus came in September at the Juniata County Fair in Port Royal, Pa. They both cried. “I forgot what it was like to be in front of an audience,” Arestov said.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXR9VGYmkcI&feature=emb_title
Shams Charania: After exiting court, active players are strongly recommended to wear mask in bench area. The requirement resets at halftime (wear mask at start of second half until they enter the game). Inactive players remain required to wear mask for entire game.
As long as Durant continues to test negative for the coronavirus, the soonest he can return comes against the Denver Nuggets on January 12. Durant, who had COVID-19 in May, has continued to register coronavirus antibodies and tested negative for the virus three times in recent days, sources said.
Jonathan Feigen: Ben McLemore, cleared from his self-isolation period, takes a seat for a media Zoom call with "I'm baaaaaaaack." Asked if he had symptoms, he said, "I'm healthy. I'm excited."
Eight members of the Clippers’ support staff had to drive vans back to Los Angeles from Utah over the weekend. Why? Because one of them tested positive for COVID-19, and contract tracing found that the other seven all dined No. 8 in a suite at the team hotel on New Year’s Eve. Mask wearing in the room was occasional. ESPN first reported the incident. A Clippers source said there were no league protocol violations but called the situation “unfortunate.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: ESPN Sources: Several members of Clippers support staff are quarantined in Salt Lake City after a positive coronavirus test. Contact tracing led back to eight people attending a New Year’s Eve meal at a presidential suite in the team hotel with intermittent mask-wearing.
Mirjam Swanson: Confirming ESPN, per source: Under the league’s new COVID-19 health and safety protocols, a number of the Clippers’ staffers are in quarantine — they have sufficient support with the team for tonight’s game in Phoenix.
Anthony Chiang: Heat guard Avery Bradley wasn't at practice today because of the NBA's health and safety protocols. He has not yet been ruled out for tomorrow's game vs. OKC, though.
Luis Scola tested positive for coronavirus according to Argentinian website Clarin. The veteran former All-EuroLeague forward and captain of the Argentinian national team is reported to be among the 12 members of Varese that tested positive for COVID-19, as the club announced Saturday (2/1).
Rob Schaefer: Chandler Hutchison tested positive for COVID-19, per Bulls coach Billy Donovan. He’s still in DC. Markkanen, Satoransky and Arcidiacono are in Chicago
Michael Singer: Confirmed that Michael Porter Jr. won't be available for tonight's game due to health and safety contact tracing protocols, as @Shams Charania reported. I'm told the team's expectation is that he'll be out multiple games.
But during Thursday’s practice in San Francisco, where the Blazers will play Golden State on Friday, there was significance to the feat, because of what Little has gone through this month. On Dec. 1, as part of the NBA’s testing of players and staff, Little learned that he had contracted COVID-19. It wasn’t until Dec. 22 that Little recorded his first negative test and was able to rejoin the team. In between, he experienced three weeks of hell.
“For me, I was on the worst part of the spectrum, the hard end of the disease,” Little said. “I didn’t have to go to the hospital or be on a ventilator, but I went through it bad. It hit me really bad. For about seven to 10 days, I was just really miserable.”
Although he is back around his teammates, Little is far from returning to a game. The virus ravaged his body. He lost 20 pounds. And his conditioning and strength are nowhere near where he needs to be to compete against NBA players. His battle with COVID-19 is another chapter in a bizarre and trying first season with the Blazers, when it seemed like every time the first-round pick was turning a corner, he was thwarted by a fluke circumstance.
The NBA is placing a significant burden on team officials to monitor and mete out discipline in cases of COVID-19 protocol violations among players and staff, the league told teams on Thursday in a memo obtained by ESPN. The memo comes on a day that four Chicago Bulls players -- Lauri Markkanen, Ryan Arcidiacono, Tomas Satoransky and Chandler Hutchison -- were ruled out against the Washington Wizards because of league health and safety protocols.
The NBA reminded teams that it can become aware of potential violations through a number of avenues, including reporting by team or league personnel, media and social media reports, review of game broadcasts and calls to the league-established health and safety hotline. The NBA told teams that they must follow normal disciplinary processes in handing out punishments, including "determining the facts, providing the person alleged to have violated the protocols with an opportunity to be heard, and using principles of fairness, proportionality and progressivity in determining discipline."
Adrian Wojnarowski: NBA teams have the "primary responsibility for monitoring and enforcing compliance" with COVID-19 protocols, league tells teams in a memo. "Teams are responsible in the first instance for imposing any appropriate discipline on players or team staff."
Adrian Wojnarowski: Other than league "assuming primary responsibility" for investigating and possible punishment for "In-Game" violations and "Exceptional Circumstances" (such as a meaningful failure of team compliance), league tells teams that rules compliance is significantly on them to enforce.
The NBA is planning to roll out an ambitious aspect of its leaguewide contact tracing program by requiring players and many team staffers to wear sensor devices during all team-organized activities outside of games starting Jan. 7, according to a league memo obtained by ESPN. Only Tier 1 and Tier 2 individuals -- designations outlined in the league's health and safety protocols that include players and specific staff members, such as coaches -- will be required to wear Kinexon SafeZone contact sensor devices on the team plane, the team bus, during practices, and to and from the arena or their home practice facility in connection with team travel, the memo states.
The sensors do not record GPS location and will activate when coming within close proximity, which is defined as six feet, to another person wearing one -- a point that health officials across the NBA emphasized to quell concerns about whether individual movements would be monitored. It is expected that the "proximity alarm" feature on the devices, which was active in the Orlando, Florida, bubble, will be disabled this season. The memo states that the sensors will record "the distance and duration of in-person interactions" with others who are wearing a sensor, which the NBA believes will aid in its contact tracing reviews in instances of positive cases. Such reviews will be supplemented with interviews of players and staff members, as well as potentially examining camera footage at team facilities, to better understand who might have been exposed to an infected individual.
One health official with direct knowledge of the situation noted that the sensors should significantly help in better determining which players or staff might need to be quarantined should the situation arise. "We don't want to have to needlessly quarantine someone that doesn't need to be," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Spectators are not allowed in most NBA markets due to local health orders, but a limited number of fans will be in attendance when John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins make their Houston Rockets debuts against the Kings on Thursday. Houston is one of the few NBA cities where fans are being permitted under strict COVID-19 protocols. Up to 4,500 are expected at the Toyota Center when the Rockets (0-2) entertain the Kings (3-1) in their home opener on New Year’s Eve.
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September 18, 2021 | 5:41 pm EDT Update
You’re here for at least the next five years now that you’ve signed an extension. Do you allow yourself to think – or dream – about what might come over that time span since you’ve talked openly about wanting to win a title in New York? Have you allowed yourself to think about how things might progress? Julius Randle: Obviously, it’s a process. Everything is a process. We’ve been building this from the ground up. But for me, personally, that is the expectation (winning a title in New York). That’s what I want to happen within that time frame. There’s a lot of things, factors that go into that. So obviously you’ve got to weigh that stuff in.
Julius Randle: But as far as myself, I know Thibs (Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau) is thinking (it as well), it’s just win at all costs. For me personally, that’s just how I prepare myself. I prepare myself to compete at the highest level of our game. Like I said, there’s a lot of factors (that go into winning an NBA title). But I trust Leon (Knicks president Leon Rose), I trust Thibs, Wes (Knicks vice president William Wesley), our coaches, Scott (Knicks GM Scott Perry) – all these guys, I trust. That was part of my process in thinking of signing the extension and that’s my goal, that’s our goal as a team and the guys that are around us. We want to be able to say that we won a championship here in New York. I don’t think there’s any better feeling than that.
Did you guys see the video clip of Trae Young at the Garden with WWE? Do you care about that stuff? Julius Randle: Yeah I see it. But honestly, I don’t care. Obviously, that’s (for) entertainment purposes and all that (stuff), so I let people enjoy it. For me, honestly, I don’t care. I honestly didn’t even watch it. Knicks fans, they’re going to make a big deal out of it – they didn’t like it (laughs). But it’s all fun and games and hopefully they enjoyed it.
September 18, 2021 | 12:10 pm EDT Update

Rockets re-sign Dante Exum, waive Tyler Bey

The Rockets have officially re-signed guard Dante Exum and waived Tyler Bey to create a roster space for him, according to the NBA’s transactions log. Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw was the first to report the Bey transaction (Twitter link). With John Wall not expected to play for the team this season as it seeks to trade him, the Rockets were in the market for another point guard. The Rockets’ interest in Exum surfaced on Tuesday.
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Timberwolves sign Leandro Bolmaro

When the Timberwolves traded up to get Leandro Bolmaro last November in the 2020 NBA Draft (yes, it was less than a year ago… it still feels weird), the question was would it be a year or two before Bolmaro came over from Barcelona to play in the NBA. The answer is one. Minnesota reached a deal and Bolmaro will be with the Timberwolves in training camp, the team announced Saturday. This is not a surprise; he was expected to come over this season. He will be playing on a rookie scale contract.
September 18, 2021 | 8:54 am EDT Update
There are reports that Anthony Davis will play center for the Los Angeles Lakers this coming season with LeBron James taking the power forward position. In the past AD said that he does not love playing the five but can do it if needed. Lakers legend James Worthy thinks that the best option is to use the former number one pick in the post. “I think initiating Anthony Davis in the post is the best option,” Worthy said on Spectrum SportsNet. “I’ve never been one of those players to say ‘I don’t wanna play three, I wanna play four. I wanna play.’ I don’t know what the problem is, maybe who he defends or where he is on the floor. I think the five is a good spot for him. Because other fives don’t have a shot at guarding him.