The Sixers have been hit hard recently by absences related to the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. As of this afternoon, they’ve added a sixth player to their list of those who are out due to the league’s COVID-19 protocols.
Terrance Ferguson, who was previously sidelined for personal reasons, has apparently returned to the 76ers, but will need to undergo a quarantine period before he’s cleared to play, as Tim Bontemps of ESPN notes (Twitter links).
Despite the team finding itself shorthanded, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers isn’t sure that expanding rosters for this season is the answer, telling reporters on Monday that he “probably would not be” in favor of that solution (Twitter link via Bontemps). While having more players available might help teams reach the eight-player minimum, adding back-of-the-roster guys won’t necessarily make a shorthanded club more competitive, Rivers observed.
Here are a few more items from around the NBA related to COVID-19:
- Ryan Arcidiacono and Lauri Markkanen, who have been out since December due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, are back with the Bulls, per Eric Woodyard of ESPN (Twitter links). Both players tested negative for the coronavirus during their respective contract-tracing quarantines.
- After Shams Charania of The Athletic reported earlier this week that one player tested positive for COVID-19 for a second time in the last year, Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe of ESPN say that multiple players have now registered repeat positive tests. Although the CDC has said it expects some coronavirus reinfections, there’s uncertainty about whether that’s the case here, according to ESPN’s duo — there were higher rates of false positives early in the pandemic, meaning some players who were believed to have the virus back in the spring could have been false positives.
- Jabari Young of CNBC takes a look at the financial impact of postponed NBA games and the problems that pausing the season may cause for the league’s advertisers and partners.
- In case you missed it, the NBA and NBPA announced this afternoon that they’ve tightened a number of COVID-19 protocols that apply to players and staffers. NBPA executive director Michele Roberts told Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter links) that imposing more restrictions on players isn’t ideal, but was deemed necessary. “Our experts have concluded that these new procedures will add to our arsenal of weapons against the virus,” she said. “It would be irresponsible and unacceptable to not employ new measures aimed at better promoting and protecting our players’ safety.”