Wizards cancel practice in latest COVID issue for NBA

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The Washington Wizards say two of their players are going on the NBA's health and safety protocols list, the latest in a wave of bad news related to the coronavirus pandemic for the league in recent days.

The Wizards canceled their Tuesday practice, saying that decision was made “out of an abundance of caution." They beat the Phoenix Suns on Monday night, and are scheduled to play host to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. The Wizards did not identify the two players.

Based on the most recent information released by teams, though the numbers can change quickly, it seems at least 36 players in the NBA entering Tuesday are dealing with some sort of virus-related issue. Those issues include players having to sit because contact-tracing data showed they may have been exposed to someone who may be positive for COVID-19.

“We're in a tough spot with COVID," Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers said after his depleted team lost in Atlanta on Monday night. “Not a lot we can do with it. I have a sneaking feeling that there's going to be a lot of teams with this problem."

The NBA’s board of governors were scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss the latest virus issues within the league. The league’s general managers met on Monday, as did the National Basketball Players Association.

a problem for the Heat that presented itself after they played in Washington on Saturday night. Boston's game in Chicago on Tuesday was called off because of virus concerns, as was the Dallas-New Orleans game on Monday

The general managers talked about increasing roster sizes Monday, along with stiffening protocols about player interaction such as postgame handshakes and hugs, said a person familiar with the discussion. The GMs also discussed making even more of a commitment to social distancing and mask wearing, said the person who spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details of the conversations were not publicly announced.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver warned before the season that issues playing amid a pandemic would be “inevitable," but the league has also said in recent days that pausing play is not currently something under consideration.

The league said on Thursday that, for testing during the preceding seven days, four players out of 498 in the league had new positive tests. That figure is expected to be updated later this week.

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