Will Friday’s Kings vs. Grizzlies game be postponed amid uptick in COVID-19 cases?

Kings

The Latest – Friday, Dec. 17

2:15 p.m.

The NBA reports Kings point guard Davion Mitchell has been added to the list of players under health and safety protocols.

Mitchell is listed as “questionable” for Friday night’s game against the Grizzlies.


Original story below:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Sacramento Kings are scheduled to host a game against the Memphis Grizzlies Thursday night.

But, amid several confirmed positive cases among players and staff, the big question is: Will the game go on or will it be postponed?

The Kings canceled practice Thursday, as positive cases were confirmed among interim head coach Alvin Gentry and multiple players were placed on the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Gentry said he’s “largely asymptomatic” aside from a “scratchy throat.” He will need successive negative tests 24 hours apart before he is able to coach again.

De’Aaron Fox, Alex Len, Marvin Bagley, Terence Davis and Luis King have been placed on the league’s list.

Plus, Tyrese Haliburton, Richaun Holmes and Chimezie Metu have injuries that could leave them out of Friday’s 7 p.m. game. 

Wojnarowski reported Friday that the team is still navigating through positive COVID-19 tests, and if they do move forward with the game against Memphis, the plan is to sign guard Justin Robinson to a hardship exemption.

The hardship exemption is essentially a safeguard the NBA put in place for teams when four or more players go down due to sickness or injury, allowing the teams to supplement their 15-man. 

A team has to have eight players for a game. The Kings should have eight or nine available players, but it will certainly be a close call.

In response to the rise in COVID-19 cases in the league, the NBA and its players have agreed to enhanced health and safety protocols through the holiday season, with additional testing coming and a return to mask usage in many situations.

The upgraded mask rules will be in place “until agreed otherwise by the NBA and Players Association,” according to a memo shared with teams Thursday night and obtained by The Associated Press. Masks need to be worn again in almost all circumstances during team activities — including travel, when on the bench during games, in meetings and locker room, weight room and training room settings.

The exceptions: during on-court basketball activities for players, and for head coaches during games.

Testing will be increased from Dec. 26 through Jan. 8, the league said. The league also told teams that more requirements and recommendations would be coming in the next few days, “to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread within the team environment.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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