It’s been one of the lingering questions of the NBA restart, something not covered in the NBA’s 113-page handbook: What happens if one team loses a lot of key players to the disease?
Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have long been out due to injuries. Same with reserve center Nicholas Claxton, who had shoulder surgery. Wilson Chandler opted out of the restart to spend time with family. Spencer Dinwiddie tested positive for the coronavirus and is unsure if he will play at the restart in Orlando.
The latest Brooklyn player out for the restart: center DeAndre Jordan. He tested positive for the coronavirus and ruled himself out.
Found out last night and confirmed again today that I’ve tested positive for Covid while being back in market. As a result of this, I will not be in Orlando for the resumption of the season.
— DeAndre Jordan (@DeAndre) June 30, 2020
On the court that will mean more run for Jarrett Allen, who is better than Jordan at this point in their careers (Kenny Atkinson wanted to play Allen over Jordan, and notice Atkinson is not the coach anymore, which speaks to the power of Durant and Irving). The Nets don’t have another traditional center on the roster with Jordan and Claxton out.
But the players the Nets sign will not be as good as the ones they replace (players available as free agents right now were free agents for a reason). The Nets enter the restart the seven seed in the East, but just half-a-game ahead of fully-healthy Orlando in the final playoff slot. Brooklyn should still make the playoffs, Washington is six games back and shorthanded themselves.
But the Nets are shorthanded, and they may not be the only team dealing with that in Orlando.