BREAKING: NBA Allows Teams To Sign Replacement Players Amidst Crisis

Published 12/20/2021, 12:50 AM EST
Dec 18, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Orlando Magic center Robin Lopez (33) wears a mask as he warms up before a game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports


The recent outbreak saw many NBA players enter the league’s health and safety protocols. Looking at the effect that it has had in the past few days, the National Basketball Players Association and the NBA have decided to take an important call to reduce the impact.

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As per Shams Charania, “The NBA will allow teams to sign one replacement player for each of its players who are under contract and tests positive for COVID-19 — effective immediately through Jan. 19.” 

However, some conditions are also set upon hiring these replacements.

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This is a big relief for teams that have more than half of the players sitting on the sidelines. Injury troubles were already a big enough issue for teams to get past. However, this new rule that will come into effect by next month will certainly provide big relief to organizations.

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A solution for this problem has been in discussion for days now. In fact, NBA owners were desperate to avoid any cancellation and postponing of games. Hence, the board of governors gave their approval for this plan of replacement players.

NBA teams that have suffered the most

There isn’t any team that has been completely immune to the virus spreading like wildfire. One can look at the Brooklyn Nets, who despite being the top team in the Eastern Conference, fell victim to the outbreak and had 11 players missing when they played the Orlando Magic.

This included Kyrie Irving, who was supposed to be back for the road games. He had to enter health and safety protocols even before he made his debut for this season. On top of that, the Chicago Bulls had so many of their players absent that after their game against the Miami Heat, their next two were postponed, and they had a week before they finally played the Lakers tonight.

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Dec 1, 2021; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (right) walks court-side during the second half of the game between the Seton Hall Pirates and the Wagner Seahawks at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

This is indeed a worrying situation. However, the league is clearly taking on the responsibility to make the most of it.

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One must wait and see whether this solution will actually work. It is evident that some players might take some time to adjust to their new team. Whether this strategy will work in the long run is only something that time can tell.

 

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Yashima Bhatia

1803 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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