NBA teams have been so busy dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks and scrambling to find available replacement players that the trade talks which typically occur at this time of year have been put on the back burner, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Given how many teams are shorthanded, it has also been hard to get a clear sense of whether certain clubs will end up as buyers or sellers, a high-ranking Western Conference executive told Fischer.
“There have been so many injuries, so many players in health and safety protocols, and there are so many teams that are holding out hope they can make a run to that next goal, whether it be making the play-in, making the playoffs, or competing for a championship,” the executive said. “I don’t expect there to be any trade action anytime soon.”
Here are a few more COVID-related notes:
- Within his look at the recent impact of the health and safety protocols, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report notes that the exodus of G League talent to the NBA has opened the door for more former NBA players to sign NBAGL contracts in the hopes of getting back into the league. Thon Maker, Marcus Thornton, and Jordan Crawford are among the players who have recently been offered G League deals, says Fischer.
- Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link) offers some additional details on why the Raptors‘ Wednesday game and the Nets‘ Thursday contest were postponed. As Grange explains, while the minimum number of players required for a team to play a game is eight, the NBA’s new rules say that at least five of those players must be from the club’s initial 17-man roster. It sounds as if Toronto and Brooklyn both may have dipped below five available players, not counting hardship signees.
- Vaccinated players signed via hardship exceptions can play for their new teams immediately after testing negative for COVID-19, but must continue to return negative tests during each of their first five days with the club in order to enter facilities and remain active, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks (Twitter links).