The NBA has begun testing players for COVID-19 in preparation for the staff and rosters of 21 teams to head to Orlando for resuming the 2019-20 season (the Raptors are already there). Yesterday, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that teams were expecting a “significant number of positive tests” in this first batch and we’re already starting to see some pop up.
Last night, it was reported that Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets had tested positive in Serbia. Now J. Michael of The IndyStar is reporting that Indiana Pacers point guard Malcolm Brogdon has tested positive as well.
What does Malcolm Brogdon’s positive test mean for the Indiana Pacers?
Brogdon’s test results don’t necessarily preclude him from playing in Orlando. But to do that, he’ll need to fully recover and receive two negative test results at least 24 hours apart before he’ll be able to join the team. That’s not to minimize the health risks which are serious in the short-term and still mostly unknown in the long-term.
Any extended absence for Brogdon would deal a serious blow to the Pacers’ hopes of making a deep playoff run. He had a breakout season, his first with Indiana, averaging 16.3 points, 7.1 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game. The Pacers outscored opponents by an average of 2.2 points per 100 possessions with Brogdon on the floor.
Indiana’s backcourt situation is in flux as well with the news last week that Victor Oladipo is still unsure if he’ll be able to play in Orlando. He didn’t play until Jan. 29 as he recovered from a ruptured quad tendon suffered last season. After making his season debut, he played in just 13 of a possible 18 games as he worked through nagging injuries. The Pacers lost Jeremy Lamb to a torn ACL earlier in the year and if both Brogdon and Oladipo are out, the Pacers would likely be left with Justin and Aaron Holiday as their starting backcourt.