Wizards center Thomas Bryant and point guard Gary Payton II have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and did not travel with their teammates to the Orlando campus for the NBA’s season restart, according to Ava Wallace of The Washington Post (Twitter link).
Shooting guard Garrison Mathews also did not travel with the rest of the team to Orlando, though his absence was a result of “personal reasons,” as Luke Adams noted in another Wizards story earlier today.
The 6’10” Bryant, a third-year player out of Indiana, started in 28 of his 38 games with the Wizards this season. He averaged career-highs in points (12.1 PPG), rebounds (6.8 RPG), assists (1.9 APG), and three-point percentage (40.7% on 1.4 attempts per night).
Since going undrafted in 2016 out of Oregon State, Payton saw limited action with the Bucks, Lakers and Wizards in parts of three NBA seasons. He saw more consistent action with Washington this year, playing in 14.9 MPG across 29 games, including 17 starts.
The future availability for all three Wizards players in the restart is now up in the air. Players who test positive for COVID-19 can be replaced by substitutes, but teams also have the option of waiting for those players to be medically cleared.
Washington is already missing starting shooting guard Bradley Beal (a two-time All Star), power forward Davis Bertans, and nominal starting point guard John Wall, who has been sidelined for the entire season.