6:43pm: One Raptors coach is believed to have tested positive for COVID-19, while the others are ruled out due to contact tracing and are quarantining, according to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link).
As for Siakam, Grange reports (via Twitter) that the forward returned an inconclusive rapid test and is awaiting the result of his PCR test. If it’s negative, he could be cleared to play in the Raptors’ next game on Sunday.
5:06pm: In addition to missing head coach Nick Nurse and five other members of their coaching staff, the Raptors will also be without star forward Pascal Siakam on Friday night vs. Houston due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, as Doug Smith of The Toronto Star tweets.
One key assistant will be available and will temporarily ascend to the head coaching role in Nurse’s absence, according to the Raptors, who announced that Sergio Scariolo will coach the club on Friday night (Twitter link via Marc Stein of The New York Times).
Scariolo recently coached the Spanish national team for qualifying games for the 2022 EuroBasket tournament and had been quarantining before being cleared to rejoin the Raptors, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. According to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link), Scariolo completed his quarantine period this morning, just in time to provide a much-needed veteran coaching presence on the depleted Toronto bench.
It remains unclear how much time Siakam and the Raptors’ coaches will miss. Some individuals affected by the protocols this season have been cleared after just a day or two if a contact tracing investigation determines they weren’t a close contact of someone who tested positive.
However, if they are determined to have been a close contact of someone who tested positive – or if they tested positive themselves – they may not be available until after the All-Star break.