The NBA’s proposed restart for Jul 31 (AEST) could be in trouble after more positive tests for coronavirus within the league.
Three New Orleans Pelicans players have tested positive for coronavirus, according to New Orleans Pelicans Executive Vice President David Griffin.
The players that contracted the virus have not been named, but Griffin said they are in quarantine.
The Pelicans enter the restart of the season 3.5 games back of the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth seed and have the easiest remaining schedule among the teams in Orlando.
Meantime, the Denver Nuggets say they’ve closed their facilities after two members of the team’s traveling party tested positive for the virus over the weekend. A third tested positive this week.
All three are asymptomatic, the Nuggets said Wednesday in confirming a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The 35-member traveling party includes players, coaches and staff.
It’s unclear if the Nuggets will reopen their practice facilities before the team flies to Orlando on July 7 to resume the season that was halted in mid-March because of the virus, which has has killed more than 128,000 people in the United States.
The 22 teams that will restart the season July 30 returned to their practice facilities last week and players, coaches and staff have been subject to ongoing testing as they prepare to resume the season.
A week ago, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that Nuggets superstar center Nikola Jokic, one of only four players averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds, tested positive for the virus in Serbia,
Nuggets coach Michael Malone revealed recently that he tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies and said he believes he had the virus in March.
The news comes as Brooklyn Nets center DeAndre Jordan has tested positive for the coronavirus and opted out of next month’s Orlando.
Jordan and guard Spencer Dinwiddie tested positive for COVID-19, though Dinwiddie has yet to officially rule himself out.
Forward Wilson Chandler told ESPN that he opted out of the season’s restart, citing family concerns.