The Charlotte Hornets will be without young star LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier for at least ten days. That's because Ball and Rozier have entered the NBA's health and safety protocols for COVID-19.
As reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic, Ball and Rozier were the first two Hornets players to enter the league's health and safety protocols on Saturday. About 20 minutes later, Mason Plumlee and Jalen McDaniels were also placed under the same protocols.
It means Ball and his three teammates will likely miss multiple games, as the quarantine period is at least ten days. However, they can take multiple PCR tests for COVID-19 every day. If they record two negative results in a 24-hour period, they will be cleared.
With news of four players out for at least ten days, the Charlotte Hornets have recalled three players from their G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm. The players are Kai Jones, James Bouknight and Vernon Carey Jr. The three young players are expected to give the Hornets depth in the absence of several key players.
The Hornets have been playing well recently, winning six of their last ten games, thanks to LaMelo Ball's exploits. But with Ball and three other rotation players out, the Hornets will have to rely on Miles Bridges, Kelly Oubre and Gordon Hayward to carry the load for the next few games.
LaMelo Ball not the first star to be placed in the NBA's health and safety protocols this season
LaMelo Ball is not the first high-profile star to be placed in the NBA's health and safety protocols this season. He has joined a handful of other stars, including LeBron James, Joel Embiid, Jaylen Brown, Khris Middleton, Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic.
James of the LA Lakers entered the health and safety protocols last Tuesday, but was cleared after testing negative twice in a span of 24-hours. Embiid, who confirmed that he tested positive for COVID-19, missed three weeks and suffered major symptoms too.
Brown and Middleton were among the first players to miss games earlier in the season, due to protocols. Vucevic recently returned after a couple of days of reconditioning. The Hornets have not publicly revealed if LaMelo Ball or any of the three players tested positive for COVID-19.
Charlotte last played on Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks. They lost 127-125 after Giannis Antetokounmpo hit the game-winning lay-up with two seconds left in the fourth quarter. The league has not released any news regarding contact tracing of Bucks players. But it's interesting to note that Antetokounmpo and Ball exchanged jerseys after the game.
It's understandable why Antetokounpo wanted LaMelo Ball's jersey after the game. Ball put up a career-high 36 points against the Bucks, so 'The Greek Freak' collects the jersey from his opponent.
However, the jersey has reportedly been confiscated by the league since then.
Also Read: Who is LaMelo Ball’s girlfriend, Ashlyn Castro?