The Nets suddenly have seen seven players enter the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols within the 24 hours. All-Star guard James Harden and versatile swingman Bruce Brown have joined five other afflicted comrades on the sidelines for Brooklyn, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).
Brooklyn currently has just reached the league minimum for available players to stave off a cancelation of its scheduled game against the Raptors tonight. In addition to the team’s seven coronavirus-related absences, the Nets are also still missing COVID-19 vaccine holdout Kyrie Irving and injured wing Joe Harris. All-Star forward Kevin Durant had been listed as questionable due to a sore ankle, but he’s set to suit up for the Nets now, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN (via Twitter).
Bontemps notes in a separate tweet that both Brown and Harden had been in the Nets’ home arena, the Barclays Center, ahead of the team’s game against Toronto this evening. Brown had apparently even been warming up on the hardwood before he received the bad news.
Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets that the Nets will be eligible to sign up to five players via the hardship provision due to this swath of absences. Marks adds that Brooklyn will be dinged approximately an extra $500K in tax penalties for each 10-day signing the team completes.
The league postponed two games this week for the Bulls, who are currently missing as many as 10 players due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Should further spread of the virus among the Brooklyn locker room continue, the league could take similar precautions with the Nets.