The Brooklyn Nets have struggled to fill out their roster amid the coronavirus pandemic, and things have not gotten any easier for them of late. Brooklyn has been hit extremely hard by COVID-19, and now some of their “replacement” players could be leaving the team as well.
The Nets recently signed forward Michael Beasley to fill one of their five open roster spots, and Beasley had arrived in Orlando to begin competing with the team. Sources now say that Beasley has left the NBA’s bubble at Walt Disney World, and his status is unknown.
ESPN has confirmed that Beasley tested positive for COVID-19, but the positive test did not force him to be removed from campus. Beasley chose to leave the resort at Walt Disney World, and the team is unclear if he will eventually return to the bubble.
The Nets signed the 31-year-old on July 9, and it was their fifth signing as they attempted to put a team on the floor in Orlando. Brooklyn announced that Beasley had passed his physical from team doctors, but they were still waiting on the coronavirus tests.
Brooklyn will be without five key players as they try to stay in the playoff race in the Eastern Conference. Both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant have missed most of the season, and they were never going to play in the restart.
DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Taurean Prince all tested positive for COVID-19 in June, and they have chosen to sit out the remainder of the season. The Nets will be using this time to take a look at some other veteran players, and there are some familiar names joining the team.
Veterans Tyler Johnson and Jamal Crawford also agreed to deals with the team, and that should provide the Nets with some scoring. Last week the team announced that they signed both Donta Hall and Lance Thomas to their roster.
Brooklyn enters the restart in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, just one half-game ahead of the Orlando Magic.
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Jokic Finally Arrives in Orlando
The Denver Nuggets have been training as a team in Orlando, but they have been without their most important player. Nikola Jokic was unable to travel with the team, but he is finally in Orlando and is excited to be there.
Jokic tested positive for the coronavirus while at home in Serbia but expressed that he remained asymptomatic the entire time. He was forced to quarantine in his home country before being able to travel to the US.
The All-Star center was also forced to self-quarantine when returning to the United States and was also forced to produce several negative tests before being allowed out of quarantine. The process has not been easy for Jokic, but he is expected to finish the season with the team.
Even though Jokic is in Orlando with his teammates, he will not be able to practice until he goes through a physical examination from team doctors. He successfully produced two negative tests, which has allowed him to attend practices.
Denver is still waiting on two of their members from the travel party to arrive in Orlando, and they will remain short-handed. Head coach Michael Malone did not name the players that have yet to arrive in Orlando but did note that they must produce negative tests before being allowed to rejoin the team.
The Denver Nuggets currently sit in third place in the Western Conference with a record of 43-22. Denver will have eight regular-season games to try and catch the LA Clippers or to remain locked into the third spot.