The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are discussing a plan to require teams to sign replacement players in order to fill voids left by players infected by COVID-19, according to sources from the league.
Many NBA owners expressed a willingness to take action to avoid postponements in the season during an NBA Board of Governors call on Friday, sources from the league said. The leaguewide plan to sign replacement players was reportedly approved by the NBA Board of Governors during the meeting.
The plan would require teams to add temporary 10-day replacement players after more than five infections occur on the team to prevent the need to postpone season games, ESPN reported. Teams would be limited to three replacement players.
Replacement players will not count against a team's salary cap or luxury tax, according to sources.
JORDAN PETERSON SAYS HE WAS LIED TO: 'I'LL GET THE VACCINE, YOU F***ING LEAVE ME ALONE. AND DID THAT WORK? NO'
The plan is proposed as a growing number of players are sidelined due to COVID-19 infections. As of Friday, 84 players have entered the NBA's health and safety protocols this season, with numbers showing a hyperbolic spike since the beginning of December.
NBA Players Entering Protocols Since Opening Night— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) December 17, 2021
(10-Day Moving Average) pic.twitter.com/hA4YawqQVt
"I do know certainly when we were testing as much as we were testing, not every team was testing under the same premise that we were testing under," Chicago Bulls head coach Billy Donovan said last week. "So you could've had, for some teams, players that were maybe asymptomatic or guys that were positive that just didn't really feel a lot of symptoms out there playing. And I think the league is probably looking at those things."
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Some coaches and team officials are waiting for rules to change to allow asymptomatic players to play in games and have COVID-19 be treated similar to the flu, which has only players who are feeling ill sidelined. However, health experts strongly emphasize that even asymptomatic carriers can spread the virus and endanger others.