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NBA, NBPA agree to allow teams short-handed by COVID-19 to sign replacement players, memo says

12:33 AM ET

  • Tim BontempsESPN

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association got here to an settlement Sunday night time on guidelines over permitting further replacement gamers for teams coping with gamers getting into the league’s well being and security protocols, in accordance to a memo obtained by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The amended guidelines, which have been outlined within the memo, went into impact Sunday night time and can stay in place till Jan. 19 — at which era the league will give teams additional steering on how issues will proceed from there.


Under the settlement, teams might be allowed to sign a replacement participant for every optimistic COVID-19 case that crops up throughout its roster. So if a staff has 5 optimistic instances of COVID-19, for instance, it may sign 5 replacement gamers.

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Meanwhile, teams may have to sign a minimum of one replacement participant if they’ve two optimistic COVID-19 instances; a minimum of two if they’ve three optimistic COVID-19 instances; and a minimum of three if they’ve 4 or extra optimistic COVID-19 instances.

The memo additionally said that any time a staff indicators a participant it’s required to sign, that participant have to be out there by the beginning of the staff’s first recreation after the allowance to sign a replacement participant is granted by the NBA.


Any replacement gamers who’re signed additionally will not depend towards a staff’s yearly wage, and in addition is not going to add to its potential luxurious tax fee. That is a big distinction for a staff just like the Brooklyn Nets, a kind of at present coping with a big COVID-19 outbreak and had its recreation Sunday in opposition to the Denver Nuggets, in addition to Tuesday’s recreation in opposition to the Washington Wizards, postponed. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, every replacement participant the Nets wanted to sign, if their wage counted towards the posh tax, would value them roughly $500,000.

As a part of the settlement, the NBA and the NBPA additionally agreed to scrap the restrict on the variety of video games a two-way participant is allowed to be on a staff’s lively roster. Under a earlier settlement the 2 sides got here to this summer season, there had been a 50-game restrict. Now, that restrict now not exists, with gamers getting paid an amended charge in the event that they wind up being lively for greater than 50 video games this season.

The NBA postponed 5 video games Sunday — three video games that have been scheduled to be performed Sunday (New Orleans Pelicans-Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers-Atlanta Hawks and Nuggets-Nets) in addition to the Orlando Magic-Toronto Raptors recreation Monday and the Wizards-Nets recreation Tuesday — because of the spike in optimistic COVID-19 instances sweeping by means of the league over the previous week.

Dozens of gamers have entered the well being and security protocols this previous week, together with stars like Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, Milwaukee Bucks ahead Giannis Antetokounmpo and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, in addition to Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel.


The first staff with a big outbreak this season, the Chicago Bulls, returned to motion Sunday night time for the primary time since its video games Tuesday in opposition to the Detroit Pistons and Thursday in opposition to the Raptors have been postponed — the primary by the NBA this season. They beat the Lakers 115-110 in Chicago.

As optimistic instances mounted throughout the league, teams scrambled to strive to fill out their rosters with replacement gamers to stay above the minimal eight lively participant threshold obligatory to play an NBA recreation. Saturday night time, the Nets and Magic performed a recreation the place the 2 teams mixed to have 24 gamers lacking due to both harm or the well being and security protocols, and solely 17 out there gamers between them.

Several teams are hovering across the eight-player mark in the mean time as well as to those who required postponements Sunday.

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