OKC Thunder: 16 of 302 NBA players test positive for COVID-19

OKC Thunder - NBA COVID-19 test results A medical technologist processes test samples for the coronavirus (Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder - NBA COVID-19 test results A medical technologist processes test samples for the coronavirus (Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images) /

Of the 302 NBA players tested June 23rd, 16 were positive for COVID-19. No word if any are from the OKC Thunder.

In a joint statement, the NBA and NBPA announced 16 of the 302  players tested on June 23rd have tested positive for COVID-19. As per the agreed terms between the stakeholders, these players will self-isolate until they meet health protocols mandated by local medical professionals and receive a physician’s clearance. We do not know all the players who tested positive or if any OKC Thunder players were among the 16 positive results.

That’s roughly five percent of the total tested. There are some clear takeaways from these numbers. Bryan Windhorst appearing on NBA the Jump said the league felt five percent would be within an acceptable margin. Clearly, If the number was much higher it would have raised some red flags.

Also of note, although the NBA was instructed to begin testing everyone on June 23rd, the numbers aren’t a representative sample of the entire group heading to Orlando.

To wit, 22 teams are participating in the Disney bubble. Each team can bring 17 players to Orlando comprised of 15 standard NBA contracted players as well as two additional players on two-way contracts.

16 positive tests represent five percent of the total tests:

There are teams without the full complement of 17 players. These openings are either due to injuries, players who’ve opted out, or unfilled open roster spots.

Injury openings include:

  • Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the Nets
  • Bojan Bogdanovic – Jazz
  • Dwight Powell and Jalen Brunson – Mavericks
  • LaMarcus Aldridge – Spurs

Players who opted out:

Four players (that we know of) have opted out including Avery Bradley (Lakers), Trevor Ariza (Blazers), Davis Bertans (Wizards), and Willie Cauley-Stein (Mavericks).

Two-way contracted players:

As per Hoops Rumors, only the 76ers and Suns have an open two-way slot available since the Thunder are filling Dort’s spot with Devon Hall

Open varsity spots:

More from Thunderous Intentions

On June 11th, Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks ESPN article noted eight clubs that had an open varsity roster spot to fill. The eight teams were the Thunder, Nuggets, Clippers, Grizzlies, Suns, Blazers, Kings and Spurs. (Luguentz Dort signing fills the open OKC Thunder roster spot)

The transaction window to sign or waive players began on June 23rd at noon ET and runs until June 30th at 11:59 p.m. ET.  The Thunder acted immediately signing Luguentz Dort to a four-year deal as we detailed and filled his open two-way slot with Devon Hall. The Thunder could still elect to waive a player and sign another although that’s not likely.

Taking into account the above situations that only accounts for 12 open roster spots which should equate to 362 tests or some 60 missing tests. This likely means a number of players haven’t reported back to their teams either because they are still overseas or not yet back with their club.

As per the original agreement between the NBA and NBPA teams are required to test every other day until just prior to leaving for Orlando when tests will occur daily. This is so the 22 teams can arrive fully healthy and provide the best-case scenario to maintain their health while in the Disney bubble.

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