Team USA Places Grant In COVID-19 Protocols, Working To Replace Beal

1:30pm: Team USA is working to replace Beal on its roster, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). It’s unclear at this point whether a replacement will be required for Grant as well.

1:14pm: After Team USA guard Bradley Beal entered the coronavirus health and safety protocols in Las Vegas on Wednesday, a second player from the U.S. roster has joined him. According to Shams Charania and Joe Vardon of The Athletic (Twitter link), Jerami Grant has also been placed in the protocols.

Grant hasn’t tested positive for COVID-19, says Charania. That suggests the Pistons forward has entered the protocols for contact tracing reasons, which would result in a shorter isolation period as long as he continues to register negative tests.

However, Team USA is traveling to Tokyo soon, with their first game of the Olympics less than 10 days away. As such, the availability of both Beal and Grant for the Tokyo games remains very much up in the air.

While the hope is that Beal and Grant will be cleared to travel to Japan and play in the Olympics, the U.S. roster would require a pair of substitutes if both players are ultimately deemed unavailable.

In a story for The Athletic, Vardon suggested that Julius Randle might be a logical choice to replace Beal. Players who are part of the U.S. Select Team in Las Vegas – including Keldon Johnson, Saddiq Bey, and Darius Garland – are also viable candidates if USA Basketball is unable to secure a last-minute commitment from a veteran.

With the Suns and Bucks looking like they might be on track for a seven-game NBA Finals, Team USA was already at risk of being shorthanded to start the Olympics, since the turnaround for Devin Booker, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday would be extremely quick if a Game 7 is required. USA Basketball may have to make decisions soon on Beal and Grant to make sure the roster is at full strength for its first game on July 25.

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