With the omicron variant running rampant, NBA rosters are in flux. Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Dallas Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis are among the many players in the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Since the beginning of December, more than 300 players have entered protocols, per ESPN.
In related news, since Dec. 26, tighter protocols — stricter mask requirements, increased testing — have been in effect. These rules will be in place until the All-Star break in mid-February, and any player who has not received a booster shot will be subject to additional off-court restrictions.
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Another change: Some players can now clear health and safety protocols and return to play as soon as five days after testing positive, provided that they are asymptomatic, vaccinated and likely not contagious (i.e. their cycle threshold is above 30). Between the tweaked return-to-play policy and the new rule mandating teams to use hardship exceptions when multiple players are in protocols, the NBA is aiming to avoid postponing more games.
There have been 11 postponements this season, and the NBA announced makeup dates this week. Here’s a list of the games that were pushed back:
- Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets (Dec. 30)
- Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs (Dec. 29)
- Brooklyn Nets at Portland Trail Blazers (Dec. 23)
- Toronto Raptors at Chicago Bulls (Dec. 22)
- Washington Wizards at Brooklyn Nets (Dec. 21)
- Orlando Magic at Toronto Raptors (Dec. 20)
- New Orleans Pelicans at Philadelphia 76ers (Dec. 19)
- Denver Nuggets at Brooklyn Nets (Dec. 19)
- Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks (Dec. 19)
- Chicago Bulls at Toronto Raptors (Dec. 16)
- Detroit Pistons at Chicago Bulls (Dec. 14)
Ten more coaches — Doc Rivers (Philadelphia 76ers), Chauncey Billups (Portland Trail Blazers), Rick Carlisle (Indiana Pacers), Alvin Gentry (Sacramento Kings), Frank Vogel (Los Angeles Lakers), Billy Donovan (Chicago Bulls), Monty Williams (Phoenix Suns), Tyronn Lue (Los Angeles Clippers), Mark Daigneault (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Michael Malone (Denver Nuggets) — have entered and subsequently cleared protocols this season.
The Raptors played two December home games at 50% capacity and, as of Dec. 31, can allow no more than 1,000 people to enter Scotiabank Arena, per a provincial mandate. The team expects the limit to be in place for the next three weeks, and, as such, are playing in a virtually empty arena.
Below is a regularly updated, team-by-team list of players in health and safety protocols, along with the date (or, in some cases, the approximate date) they entered:
Players in health and safety protocols
- Gorgui Dieng (Dec. 28)
- Payton Pritchard (Jan. 5)
- Vernon Carey Jr. (Jan. 1)
- Alex Caruso (Jan. 5)
- Kristaps Porzingis (Jan. 3)
- Petr Cornelie (Jan. 7)
- Frank Jackson (Jan. 6)
- Usman Garuba (Jan. 3)
Los Angeles Clippers
- Steven Adams (Jan. 7)
- Marcus Garrett (Dec. 30)
- Leandro Bolmaro (Jan. 6)
New Orleans Pelicans
- Tomas Satoransky (Jan. 2)
Oklahoma City Thunder
- Isaiah Roby (Jan. 5)
- Landry Shamet (Jan. 4)
San Antonio Spurs
- Tre Jones (Jan. 7)
- Keldon Johnson (Jan. 6)
- Devin Vassell (Jan. 6)
- Derrick White (Jan. 6)
- Thaddeus Young (Jan. 6)
- Doug McDermott (Jan. 1)
- Yuta Watanabe (Jan. 4)
- Rudy Gobert (Jan. 6)
- Joe Ingles (Jan. 4)