Contact tracing with Phoenix players is a factor because the Suns played the Washington Wizards on Monday, the league said. The Wizards have had positive COVID-19 tests within their roster, sources told ESPN, and also had their game for Wednesday postponed.
That has left the Suns without the league-required eight available players to proceed with Wednesday’s game vs. Atlanta.
“Not ideal,” Hawks guard Kevin Huerter tweeted shortly after the postponement was announced.
It becomes the seventh NBA game this season to be postponed — and sixth since Sunday — due to health and safety protocols.
The Suns, Hawks, Wizards, Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers are among the teams dealing with significant roster depletion in recent days because of positive tests, tracing — which indicates if someone has been in an unsafe amount of contact with a person who tested positive — or both.
Phoenix has home games coming up against Golden State on Friday and Indiana on Saturday, and Washington is scheduled to go to Detroit on Friday. The Celtics are hoping to host the Magic on Friday in the second game of what was intended to be a two-game series; if that game happens, it would be Boston’s first contest in a full week.
Postponed games are likely to be rescheduled in the second half of the season. The league has released schedules only through March 4, saying earlier this season that the second half would also include “any games postponed … that can reasonably be added to the second half.”
On Tuesday, the league and the National Basketball Players Association released updated rules that will be in place for “at least the next two weeks,” requiring players and team staff to remain at their residences when in their home markets and prohibiting them from leaving their hotels when on the road — with exceptions primarily for practices and games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.