NBA teams are expecting ‘significant number’ of positive COVID-19 tests

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The NBA is beginning COVID-19 testing and apparently expectations are for a “significant number” of positive test results.

UPDATE: Two members of the Phoenix Suns have tested positive for COVID-19

This could be a make-or-break week for the NBA‘s plans to resume the season and things are already looking shaky. Wednesday is the deadline for players to inform their teams they are opting-out and two — Davis Bertans and Trevor Ariza — have already done so.

Tuesday, the day before, is when the league was set to begin testing players and staff and word has already leaked out that they are expecting some bad news. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that “teams are bracing for significant numbers of positive tests. One Western Conference playoff team had four positives in past few weeks, per sources.”

What happens if a “significant number of NBA players” have positive COVID-19 tests?

Players or staff who test positive will be quarantined and could eventually rejoin their teams after recovering and receiving a negative result on two separate tests, at least 24 hours apart. However, if a number of positive results are announced today it could lead to more players opting out, thinning the pool of players heading to Orlando.

Follow-up reporting from Wojnarowski indicated that playoff teams may be less worried about positive test results at this point since players could theoretically recover by the time postseason play begins. He also shared that the teams trying to play their way into the postseason may already be preparing to sit key players and avoid injury risk for next season, treating this like Summer League and a chance to get developmental minutes for their young players.

The league clearly feels more confident about their ability to manage variables once they have players and staff in Orlando but actually getting to that point could still be up in the air. The whole thing still seems so fragile and even a handful of positive test results could change the dynamics dramatically.

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