The previous outbreak was limited to players, starting last week when forward Rui Hachimura and center Moe Wagner entered the league’s coronavirus protocol on Tuesday, prompting the Wizards to do so. cancel workout. As of Friday night, the number swelled to six positive cases and nine total players in the league’s health and safety protocol, which explains various scenarios including contact tracing. The latest positive test means eight members of the organization, including seven players, have tested positive. The NBA has not released names of players who have tested positive, citing privacy laws.
The Magicians had brought several qualified players to their training facilities for individual training, but the team had not had any live training, meetings or group activities since. the latest game January 11th.
Wednesday’s match postponement means the Wizards now account for a third of the 15 NBA games postponed during the first four weeks of the season. No other team has had more than three games because no other team has had an outbreak as big as Washington.
The Wizards (3-8) are next scheduled to play Friday night in Milwaukee against first-place Bucks.
If the game stays on schedule, the Wizards will need more than a few days of individual training to get back into their form, especially as they will lean on less-used players such as third line point guard Cassius Winston, one of the two players on the team splitting time between NBA and G League. Players who test positive must be isolated for 10 to 14 days, according to league protocol.
Coronavirus is not the only problem that is thinning the list; starting point guard Russell Westbrook remains sidelined with a left quadriceps injury, and the Wizards miss their starting center Thomas Bryant to tear part of the ACL in his left knee this month.
Reinforcements may – in the end – be dispatched. In the short term, the Wizards roster drops to 14 players on guaranteed contracts (excluding Winston and Garrison Mathews, another two-way player) after them. released from the Anzejs Pasecniks backup center on Sundays, open the pay limit space and place on the list. The NBA is considering allowing teams to take on a two-way third player to help ease the burden when players are detained due to coronavirus protocol.
In the long term, Washington has filed a $ 4.2 million disability waiver following Bryant’s injury, which the team could use to take on more established players for the remainder of the season.
“I think it’s an acknowledgment of how hard it is to really put together a team if you have a few positives,” General Manager Tommy Sheppard said of the potential roster expansion during Friday’s virtual press conference. “Grabbing guys – they have to have a negative test six days before they can enter your facility, things like that; which makes it really hard to find someone if you have an emergency like us. “
When asked Friday if he knew the origin of the team’s outbreak, Sheppard said there was no violation of NBA protocol and felt it was inevitable that the team would have a positive case.
The week before a player begins testing positive, the Wizards are up against four direct opponents whose players have either tested positive or followed league protocol the day after the match. Washington continued with its regular schedule throughout the week, which was not how the league handled the Wizards’ newest opponents. The Phoenix Suns have three games postponed due to contact tracing after playing at the Capital One Arena last week.
When asked to explain the differences between the Wizards and the Suns’ treatment, an NBA spokesperson said each team’s cases were different. The spokesperson did not elaborate on the differences allowing the Wizards to continue playing.
“The contact tracing process under our health and safety protocol is based on guidance from [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and reviews of infectious diseases and other health and medical experts advising the NBA and the Players Association, “the spokesperson said in a statement to The Washington Post. “Under the protocol, each case is reviewed individually with the contact tracing group and clinician.”
Sheppard was asked Friday if the league should step in after the Wizards’ opponents began testing positive. The general manager said he did not “blame” anyone for the outbreak.
“This incubation period is seven to 10 days, so it might rush you. I hate to say it, but now it’s our turn, “said Sheppard. “It attacked us at once. Another team, it hit them a few times. We shouldn’t feel special – other teams have been through this; the other team is going through this. “
It’s true that nearly every other team in the league has been touched by the coronavirus in some way, either by postponing matches or having players enter into league health and safety protocols. But no other team’s season has slipped so far.
Here’s the full list of matches postponed this season from Monday afternoon:
- 23 December: Oklahoma City Thunder at the Houston Rockets
- January 10: Miami Heat at the Boston Celtics
- January 11: New Orleans Pelicans at the Dallas Mavericks
- January 12: Boston Celtics at the Chicago Bulls
- January 13: Utah Jazz at the Washington Wizards
- January 13: Orlando Magic at the Boston Celtics
- January 13: Atlanta Hawks at the Phoenix Suns
- January 15: Washington Wizards at the Detroit Pistons
- January 15: Golden State Warriors at the Phoenix Suns
- January 15: The Memphis Grizzlies at the Minnesota Timberwolves
- January 16: Indiana Pacers at the Phoenix Suns
- January 17: Cleveland Cavaliers in the Washington Wizards
- January 17: Philadelphia 76ers in the Oklahoma City Thunder
- January 18: Cleveland Cavaliers in the Washington Wizards
- January 20: Washington Wizards in the Charlotte Hornets