Seven Brooklyn Nets players, including All-Star guard James Harden, have entered the NBA’s “health and safety” protocols after potential exposure to COVID-19, leaving the team shorthanded for their Tuesday night matchup against the Toronto Raptors.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Harden, Bruce Brown, Paul Millsap, LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Bembry, Jevon Carter, and James Johnson will all be inactive for the 7:30 p.m. game at Barclays Center — which, along with two other absences, gives the Nets just eight active players.
Unvaccinated Kyrie Irving will also be ineligible to play due to New York City’s vaccine mandates (though he has left cryptic social media messages potentially teasing a return to action), and fan-favorite Joe Harris continues to be sidelined after undergoing ankle surgery.
Meanwhile, All-Star forward Kevin Durant had been listed “questionable” with ankle soreness, but he is expected to play.
NBA rules require teams to have at least eight active players to compete in games, and those who enter the health and safety protocol need to return two negative PCR tests, or quarantine for 10 days in order to return to action.
Every Brooklyn Nets player, aside from Irving, is vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Nets currently stand atop the NBA’s Eastern Conference with a 19-8 record, putting them two games ahead of the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks.
Meanwhile, the Raptors find themselves on the edge of playoff contention at 10th place in the East, with a 13-14 record.
Editors note: This story has been updated to reflect Harden and Brown’s addition to the health and safety protocol list.