New Nets forward Michael Beasley has tested positive for the coronavirus and returned home, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Malika Andrews and Tim Bontemps of ESPN first reported that Beasley had left the NBA’s Walt Disney World campus.
Beasley, who signed with the Nets last Thursday, arrived at Disney shortly after the rest of the team got there last week. As Andrews and Bontemps note, GM Sean Marks told reporters that Beasley would require negative coronavirus tests for six days before he’d receive the go-ahead to join Brooklyn for practices. Presumably, the veteran forward didn’t clear quarantine before testing positive. Now his roster status is up in the air, per Charania.
No NBA team has a more decimated roster right now than the Nets, who are missing a total of seven players from their original squad. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Nicolas Claxton are sidelined with injuries, Wilson Chandler voluntarily opted out, and DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Taurean Prince have been ruled out following positive coronavirus tests.
Brooklyn has been able to sign substitute players to replace those four non-injured players, bringing aboard Jamal Crawford, Lance Thomas, Donta Hall, and Beasley. Now, however, the Nets may be the first club whose substitute player requires a substitute of his own.
Players who contract COVID-19 don’t have to be replaced, but Beasley had already been out of the NBA for over a year and now won’t be able to participate in the season’s ramp-up period before seeding games begin.
As such, it would make sense for Brooklyn to replace him, and Justin Anderson looks like the logical candidate to do so — he reportedly reached a deal with the Nets back in June and said during an appearance on the JWILLY Show (YouTube link) on Monday that he’s quarantining in an Orlando-area hotel as he prepares to officially sign his contract.