Among the many unknowns coming with the NBA restart in Orlando at the end of July is how many positive coronavirus tests there will be on teams once games begin and how it will impact game outcomes. Obviously, this is a star-driven league, and a few infections at a crucial time in the playoffs, for example, could tilt a series altogether.
One of the items to plan for, then, is how teams will be able to deal with the contingency of a player testing positive during the season. It sounds as though teams will be able to call up their two-way players or sign a player in a free agent pool to replace the player who tests positive, until that player recovers and is cleared, per a report at ESPN over the weekend.
While we can’t do a full rundown of eligible free agents, here’s the situation for the Clippers in terms of flexible deals:
- Amir Coffey: On a two-way deal, Coffey has played 13 games for the Clippers this season. He’s averaged a tick over a rebound and just over two points a game in limited minutes.
- Johnathan Motley: The first player on a two-way deal to be traded in NBA history, Motley has also played 13 times for the Clips this season so far, but he’s averaging just over three minutes a game in those appearances.
- Joakim Noah: The 35-year-old signed a 10-day deal right before the NBA shut down, so he’s been on quite possibly the longest 10-day deal ever. Has yet to play for the Clippers and hasn’t played at all since the end of last season.
So no team in the NBA is sitting on a two-way player who should be sixth man right now or anything, but any or all of these three could potentially play major minutes if a few Clippers ahead of them on the depth chart catch coronavirus. The same goes for all other teams, of course. Something worth watching as the restart approaches.
Onto the news for Tuesday:
- Speaking of Joakim Noah... The veteran really wanted to sign with the Clippers, and is eager to prove himself and hopefully win a title. This is a good feature from The Athletic’s Jovan Buha on Noah.
- Patterson jumped at chance to practice: While some of his teammates were nervous about jumping into restricted workouts at the Clippers practice facility, Patrick Patterson was on board and was one of the first to get involved. He walks through the current set-up of those workouts with the LA Times’ Arash Markazi.
- Check out team’s “Win the Wait” video: Blake has a great writeup on a very good piece of content that basically does the “Prevously on... Clippers” but with grace.
- Doc Rivers a prominent voice on coaching commission: Sabreena with the details here of the new initiative put together by NBA coaches, including Doc Rivers, who explains the monumental task at hand to advocate for justice and equality, while also making sure the priority and messaging is just right.
- Durant, Aldridge out: Kevin Durant has ruled out his debut with the Brooklyn Nets this season, while LaMarcus Aldridge is also out for the rest of this season after undergoing shoulder surgery in late-April.
- Clippers spot nominated for local Emmy: The LA-area Emmy nominations are out, and a Clippers season preview promo on Prime Ticket has gotten the nod. The winners will be revealed July 18.