Nuggets All-Star center Nikola Jokic did not join the team on its flight to Orlando on Tuesday due to COVID-19 testing protocols, Mike Singer of the Denver Post tweets. Jokic, who contracted the novel coronavirus in Serbia, needed two negative tests there and two more in the U.S. before he could join his teammates. Jokic had two negative tests in Serbia but a tight timeline prevented him from meeting those standards, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. Jokic can head to Orlando once he passes all those tests.
We have more from the Northwest Division:
- Luguentz Dort wasn’t sure he’d receive a multi-year deal from the Thunder until shortly before the agreement was reached, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman writes. Dort had his two-way contract converted into a standard four-year, $5.4MM deal late last month. “I had conversations with my agent and everything, but nothing was actually like 100% sure,” Dort said of the negotiations. “It was still unsure until these past couple weeks … and then it happened.”
- Trail Blazers assistant coach Dale Osbourne did not travel with the team to Orlando, Dan Sheldon of NBC Sports Northwest tweets. No additional details were provided by coach Terry Stotts. Osbourne has been on Stotts’ staff for eight seasons.
- CJ McCollum believes the Trail Blazers can snare the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic. Portland enters the restart 3.5 games behind Memphis, which currently has the eighth-best conference record. “I think we have as good a chance as anyone,” McCollum said. “It’s as healthy as we’ve been in a long time … I think we have as good of chance as any of the teams going for that eighth (spot).”