Nikola Jokic, two Suns players, four others test positive
USA TODAY Sports’ Mark Medina breaks down the details of the NBA bubble in Orlando.
Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic is among NBA players who have tested positive recently for COVID-19, a person familiar with details told USA TODAY Sports.
The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the Jokic diagnosis.
Two Phoenix Suns players also tested positive for COVID-19, two people told The Arizona Republic, and four players on a Western Conference playoff team tested positive, ESPN reported.
News of these positive tests emerged as the NBA brings players to its facility for official workouts. Teams are required to perform regular COVID-19 testing and antibody testing for players and essential staff before individual training workouts.
Teams will begin traveling to the Orlando, Florida, area for the resumption of the season in approximately two weeks.
Jokic is in Serbia, where tennis star Novak Djokovic also tested positive for COVID-19. NBA players who were overseas were scheduled to report to their team by June 15, but Jokic was granted an exception.
The positive tests led to the Suns temporarily shutting down voluntary workouts at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, The Republic learned.
Phoenix’s Mikal Bridges, Elie Okobo, Frank Kaminsky III, Dario Saric, Jevon Carter, Aron Baynes, Jalen Lecque and Cheick Diallo have participated in them based on a video the team posted earlier this month in its “Don’t Sleep on Basketball” series.
The players were having workouts at the arena Tuesday morning.
Phoenix and Denver are two of 22 teams set to participate in the restart of the 2019-20 season, beginning July 30 at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex. The season has been shut down since March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.
The league is scheduled to play eight regular-season games before holding the playoffs. The Suns (26-39) are six games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference held by the Memphis Grizzlies but can force a play-in tournament if they finish within four games or fewer of the eighth-place team.
Denver is in third place in the West, 1½ games behind the second-place Los Angeles Clippers and 1½ games ahead of the fourth-place Jazz.
Rankin writes for The Arizona Republic