After having cleared their list of players in the health and safety protocols earlier this week, the Nuggets now have three new players in the protocols, as Jeff Green, Bones Hyland, and Zeke Nnaji entered today, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).
As Wojnarowski points out, the Nuggets – who will also be without head coach Michael Malone and had two assistant coaches test positive for COVID-19, per Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link) – are suddenly in danger of not having the required minimum of eight players available for Thursday’s game vs. Golden State.
In addition to Green, Hyland, and Nnaji, the Nuggets are missing four players – Jamal Murray, Michael Porter, PJ Dozier, and Markus Howard – to long-term injuries. On top of that, Vlatko Cancar (non-COVID illness), Aaron Gordon (hamstring), Monte Morris (knee), and Austin Rivers (thumb) are all listed as questionable on the latest injury report.
That leaves the Nuggets with six healthy players. Davon Reed is expected to sign a new 10-day contract today, but that would still just get Denver to seven. The team may have to count on one or more of those questionable players being active and hope that additional testing doesn’t turn up new COVID-19 cases.
On the plus side, since the Nuggets now have players in the protocols, Reed’s new 10-day deal will fall under the COVID-related hardship umbrella, meaning it won’t count against team salary for cap or tax purposes.