With COVID-19 cases increasing throughout the NBA, forcing large numbers of players to adhere to the league’s health and safety protocols, several games were canceled.
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To keep the season moving and avoid further disruption, the NBA and the NBPA reportedly reached an agreement to allow teams to hire a replacement player for each player on the roster who tests positive for COVID-19.
On top of that, two-way players will no longer have a limit on the total number of games they can play in the NBA during the regular season, previously limited to 50 games.
NBA COVID-19 TRACKER: Updated team-by-team list of players in health and safety protocols
Another keynote on the NBA roster rules changes for flexibility in the midst of a pandemic:
Two-way players, who previously had a maximum of 50 games, now have no limit on the number of games they can appear in, the sources said. https://t.co/TjwvKcHP9y
– Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 20, 2023
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, teams will have to sign at least one player once two entries test positive. When three players test positive, they must sign two players and when four players test positive, they must sign three replacement players. If a team has 13 healthy players available to play, there is no need for additional players to sign.
Substitute players will have no impact on the team’s salary cap or luxury tax.
As of Sunday, 64 players and two coaches have entered the league’s health and safety protocols for the past six days. The new rules will take effect immediately and will last until January 19, however, if necessary, the date will be extended. according to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press.