With the omicron variant running rampant, NBA rosters are in flux. Among the many players in the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols are New York Knicks forward Julius Randle, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns. In related news, since Dec. 26, tighter protocols — stricter mask requirements, increased testing — have been in effect. These rules will be in place until Jan. 8.
Another change: Some players can now clear health and safety protocols and return to play as soon as five days after testing positive, provided that they are asymptomatic, vaccinated and likely not contagious (i.e. their cycle threshold is above 30).
Between the tweaked return-to-play policy and the new rule mandating teams to use hardship exceptions when multiple players are in protocols, the NBA is aiming to avoid postponing games. Despite this, the scheduled game between the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets on Dec. 30 was postponed because Denver did not have the required eight players.
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There have been 11 postponements this season:
Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets (Dec. 30)Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs (Dec. 29)Brooklyn Nets at Portland Trail Blazers (Dec. 23)Toronto Raptors at Chicago Bulls (Dec. 22)Washington Wizards at Brooklyn Nets (Dec. 21)
Orlando Magic at Toronto Raptors (Dec. 20)New Orleans Pelicans at Philadelphia 76ers (Dec. 19)Denver Nuggets at Brooklyn Nets (Dec. 19)Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks (Dec. 19)Chicago Bulls at Toronto Raptors (Dec. 16)Detroit Pistons at Chicago Bulls (Dec. 14)
Seven head coaches are in health and safety protocols: Nate McMillan (Atlanta Hawks), Tyronn Lue (Los Angeles Clippers), Doc Rivers (Philadelphia), Michael Malone (Denver), Mark Daigneault (Oklahoma City Thunder), Monty Williams (Phoenix Suns) and Billy Donovan (Chicago).
Four more coaches — Chauncey Billups (Portland Trail Blazers), Rick Carlisle (Indiana Pacers), Alvin Gentry (Sacramento Kings) and Frank Vogel (Los Angeles Lakers) — entered protocols in December and have since cleared.
The Raptors played two December home games at 50% capacity and, as of Dec. 31, can allow more than 1,000 people to enter Scotiabank Arena, per a provincial mandate. The team expects the limit to be in place for the next three weeks, and, as such, are playing in a virtually empty arena.
Below is a regularly updated, team-by-team list of players in health and safety protocols, along with the date (or, in some cases, the approximate date) they entered:
Players in health and safety protocols
Bogdan Bogdanovic (Dec. 28)Gorgui Dieng (Dec. 28)
Malik Ellison (Dec. 28)Jalen Johnson (Dec. 26)
John Collins (Dec. 26)
Enes Kanter Freedom (Dec. 23)
Vernon Carey Jr. (Jan. 1)Scottie Lewis (Dec. 27)PJ Washington (Dec. 26)
Marko Simonovic (Dec. 29)Tony Bradley (Dec. 26)
Darius Garland (Dec. 28)Cedi Osman (Dec. 25)
Kristaps Porzingis (Jan. 3)Isaiah Thomas (Dec. 30)Boban Marjanovic (Dec. 29)JaQuori McLaughlin (Dec. 23)
Trey Burke (Dec. 22)
Monte Morris (Dec. 31)Jeff Green (Dec. 30)Bones Hyland (Dec. 30) Zeke Nnaji (Dec. 30)
Cory Joseph (Dec. 26)Isaiah Stewart (Dec. 23)
Armoni Brooks (Jan. 2)DeJon Jarreau (Dec. 30)
Goga Bitadze (Jan. 2)Caris LeVert (Jan. 2)T.J. Warren (Jan. 2)Kelan Martin (Dec. 31)Malcolm Brogdon (Dec. 30)Chris Duarte (Dec. 30)Isaiah Jackson (Dec. 30)Jeremy Lamb (Dec. 29)
Los Angeles Clippers
Luke Kennard (Jan. 1)Ivica Zubac (Dec. 30)Brandon Boston Jr. (Dec. 29)
Kyle Anderson (Jan. 2)Shaq Buchanan (Dec. 31)Xavier Tillman (Dec. 30)John Konchar (Dec. 28)Dillon Brooks (Dec. 26)De’Anthony Melton (Dec. 26)
Marcus Garrett (Dec. 30)Duncan Robinson (Dec. 30)Max Strus (Dec. 29)P.J. Tucker (Dec. 29) Gabe Vincent (Dec. 29)Udonis Haslem (Dec. 28)
Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Jan. 1)Semi Ojeleye (Dec. 30)
D’Angelo Russell (Dec. 25)Karl-Anthony Towns (Dec. 23)
New Orleans Pelicans
Tomas Satoransky (Jan. 2)Jonas Valanciunas (Dec. 31)
New York Knicks
Mitchell Robinson (Jan. 1)Julius Randle (Dec. 30)Wayne Selden (Dec. 28)Jericho Sims (Dec. 25)Nerlens Noel (Dec. 22)
Oklahoma City Thunder
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Jan. 1)Tre Mann (Dec. 27)Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Dec. 27)Darius Bazley (Dec. 26)
Markelle Fultz (Jan. 1)
Robin Lopez (Dec. 30)Chuma Okeke (Dec. 26)
Jaden Springer (Jan. 2)Myles Powell (Dec. 30)
JaVale McGee (Dec. 30)Abdel Nader (Dec. 29)Deandre Ayton (Dec. 27)Jae Crowder (Dec. 26)
Portland Trail Blazers
Cameron McGriff (Jan. 2)Brandon Williams (Dec. 30)
Jusuf Nurkic (Dec. 26)Cody Zeller (Dec. 26)
San Antonio Spurs
Doug McDermott (Jan. 1)
Lonnie Walker (Jan. 1)Devontae Cacok (Dec. 29)
Anthony Gill (Jan. 2)Brad Wanamaker (Dec. 31)Spencer Dinwiddie (Dec. 30)Rui Hachimura (Dec. 28)Montrezl Harrell (Dec. 28)Thomas Bryant (Dec. 27)Aaron Holiday (Dec. 27)Raul Neto (Dec. 26)