NBA COVID tracker: Hawks coach Nate McMillan, Knicks’ Julius Randle in health and safety protocols

With the omicron variant running rampant, NBA rosters are in flux. Among the many players to enter the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols recently are New York Knicks forward Julius Randle, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green. In related news, since Dec. 26, tighter protocols — stricter mask requirements, increased testing — have been in effect. These rules will be in place until Jan. 8. 

Another change: Some players can now clear health and safety protocols and return to play as soon as five days after testing positive, provided that they are asymptomatic, vaccinated and likely not contagious (i.e. their cycle threshold is above 30).

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Between the tweaked return-to-play policy and the new rule mandating teams to use hardship exceptions when multiple players are in protocols, the NBA is aiming to avoid postponing games. Despite this, the scheduled game between the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets on Dec. 30 was postponed because Denver did not have the required eight players. 

There have been 11 postponements this season:

Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets (Dec. 30)Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs (Dec. 29)Brooklyn Nets at Portland Trail Blazers (Dec. 23)Toronto Raptors at Chicago Bulls (Dec. 22)Washington Wizards at Brooklyn Nets (Dec. 21)
Orlando Magic at…..

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