The shorthanded Wizards will be seeing a familiar face soon.
Thomas Bryant, who had tested positive for COVID-19 and therefore was held back from joining the rest of his team in Orlando, has made his way to the NBA bubble.
No word yet on what the exact protocol will be for Bryant to join the rest of the Wizards, though he will undoubtedly be subjected to quarantine upon arrival. NBA players must have two negative COVID-19 tests to make their way to the bubble, something Bryant seems to have accomplished.
The Wizards had off from practice on Wednesday when Bryant arrived which meant no media available. The team practices again on Thursday evening in Orlando.
Bryant One of Many NBA COVID-19 Cases
Bryant was just one of the NBA players to test positive for COVID-19. Russell Westbrook’s positive test delayed his arrival to the bubble and while the star is expected to join the Rockets at some point, it’s not exactly clear when that will be.
The Nets saw Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan, and Taurean Prince all test positive and none of the three will travel to Orlando to play for the Nets. Brooklyn inked Michael Beasley as a replacement player, though his positive COVID-19 test left him home. Justin Anderson, who I interviewed prior to the season for Slam Magazine, will join the Nets as a result of the Beasley news.
Jazz center Rudy Gobert was the league’s first known case of COVID-19 and he is in the bubble with his Utah teammates, including Donovan Mitchell, whom the French-native had a tiff with earlier in the year.
Bryant is one of the only players to make his way to the bubble after testing positive for COVID-19. Orlando’s James Ennis has joined the Magic in Disney after recovering from a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
Wizards Without Their Core In Orlando
The Wizards will push for an improbable playoff berth without the services of three of their top players.
“We’re trying to manage expectations…but what are we there to do? We’re there to win games…with the opportunity to (win games) and make the playoffs, that’s all we can ask for,” GM Tommy Sheppard recently said.
John Wall, who hasn’t played all season, didn’t travel with the team to Orlando. The message out of the Wizards’ organization has been pretty consistent all year: they are taking the most patient approach with regard to getting Wall back up to speed. With Bradley Beal nursing a shoulder injury, they are taking a similar risk management-based approach with their 30+ ppg game scorer.
Davis Bertans, who will be a free agent after the season, also didn’t make the trip. Bertans is in Latvia with his family. Washington is also without Gary Payton II, who tested positive for COVID-19, and Garrison Matthews, who did not make the trip for unspecified reasons.
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