Atlanta Hawks guard Trey Young was placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocol on Sunday, as was Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel, as coronavirus numbers continued to rise around the league.
Young is the only Hawks player on the protocol list, coach Nate McMillan told reporters in Atlanta. Meanwhile, Vogel will not be on the bench when the Lakers play in Chicago on Sunday. The team said that David Fitzdale would coach the Lakers in place of Vogel.
The Hawks play Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who now have issues of their own, with five more players testing positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, a person familiar with the team’s situation told The Associated Press. told. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team has yet to announce any players going into protocol.
The Cavaliers won their sixth straight game against Milwaukee on Saturday. The Bucks were without star Giannis Antetokounmpo along with Donnett DiVincenzo and Bobby Portis due to COVID-19 issues.
The Bulls are returning to the court after two matches were postponed last week. Through Saturday’s games, the NBA had pushed back the only game during this outbreak – more than 50 players were placed on the protocol list in recent days.
“It is what it is. Just trying to be as safe as possible and that’s all you can do,” Lakers guard Russell Westbrook said of the growing NBA numbers. Westbrook was in protocol late last week, There were at least three negative tests before being returned and one cleared to return to play without missing a game.
The league and the National Basketball Players Association are discussing a plan in which teams in desperate need of players would be able to sign reinforcements to 10-day contracts, but without those deals the salary cap and luxury tax figures would be affected. The deal has not been finalized yet, although talks are on.
Brooklyn currently has a league-high 10 players in the league’s health and safety protocols, including Kevin Durant, James Harden, and – even though he is still not able to play – Kyrie Irving, who turned to New York as a whole for not complying. Sitting out in season is the city’s vaccine mandate. The team reversed course on Friday, saying Irving would be welcome “to the games and practices in which he is eligible to participate,” meaning street sports except those in San Francisco, which also receive vaccines. make mandatory.
The Nets had eight players available for their game against Orlando on Saturday; Magic had nine players available for that game.
AP Sportswriter Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this report.
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