Five Key Stories: 3/15/20 – 3/21/20

If you missed any of this past week’s biggest headlines from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Here are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days:

The number of NBA players testing positive for the coronavirus grew significantly in the past week. The Pistons’ Christian Wood joined the list Saturday night, followed by four Nets players, including Kevin Durant, on Tuesday. Celtics guard Marcus Smart also tested positive, along with two unidentified Lakers. In addition, three members of the Sixers organization and a member of the Nuggets organization registered positive tests.

The NBA closed team facilities to staff and players starting Friday to help contain the spread of the virus. Several teams had already made the move on their own.

After learning he had the coronavirus, Jazz star Donovan Mitchell admitted to being frustrated with teammate Rudy Gobert. In an appearance on “Good Morning America,” Mitchell said it took him some time to “cool off.”

Players aren’t guaranteed to continue receiving salary checks after April 1. The NBA sent out a memo this week saying it will provide “additional guidance” on the next round of payments, which are scheduled for April 15.

In an ESPN interview, commissioner Adam Silver said he remains “optimistic” that the season can be saved. He discussed several options for resuming play, including a charity game involving players who have been quarantined to make sure they aren’t carrying the virus.

Here are 10 more noteworthy headlines from around the basketball world this week:

  • The BIG3 is hoping to stage a “quarantined, reality show-style” tournament in April. The league wants to find 16 to 22 players who test negative for the coronavirus and keep them isolated in a house in Los Angeles.
  • Australia called off its best-of-five championship series after three games because of virus concerns.
  • Georgia guard Anthony Edwards, who is in the running for the first pick, declared for the NBA draft this week. He tops the latest draft projections by ESPN and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic.
  • Auburn’s Isaac Okoro, also projected as a possible top-five pick, declared for the draft as well. The freshman forward has been rising up draft boards all season.
  • Also entering the draft this week was Duke’s Tre Jones. The sophomore point guard was named ACC Player of the Year.
  • The Knicks are reportedly interested in pursuing Pistons’ big man Christian Wood in free agency whenever the offseason arrives.
  • Isaiah Thomas expressed confidence that he’ll be able to find another NBA job when the league resumes play. Thomas is a free agent after being waived by the Clippers, who acquired him at the trade deadline.
  • It’s “not very realistic” to expect Kevin Durant to return this season, even if play gets extended into late summer, according to business partner Rich Kleiman.
  • Clippers guard Terance Mann had hand surgery this week to fix a torn ligament.
  • The NBA and the players union agreed to halt drug testing while the league is on hiatus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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