The NBA and NBPA have agreed to revised rules for signing replacement players amid the league-wide COVID-19 outbreak that has led to several canceled games and countless players sent off due to league health and safety protocols, as per Athletic’s Shams Charania. The new rules will go into effect immediately and last until at least January 19, according to Charania.
Now, teams will be allowed to sign a replacement player for each contracted player who tests positive for COVID-19. The league will require teams to sign at least one player once two have tested positive. When a team has three players who test positive, they will need to sign at least two players, and when they have four or more positive tests, they must sign at least three replacement players, according to Charania, but if a team is able to put 13 healthy players on the field, apparently there would be no requirements. Another big change to note is that two-way players will no longer be limited to 50 appearances with their NBA team during the season. They can now play as many matches as their team wants.
The previous system of teams requesting hardship exemptions posed several significant problems. Most importantly, teams have to play games with far fewer players than they normally would, and with many of their best players they have had to rely on bench or two-way players to fill roles. keys. Many of the teams of players who are signing now are currently at the G-League Showcase in Las Vegas, posing its own COVID-19 issues as players are at risk of infection there or while traveling to a destination in Las Vegas. the NBA.
As COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, there is no perfect solution to filling the NBA rosters. For now, all the league can do is give teams more flexibility and postpone games when that isn’t enough. Unless another league-wide shutdown, relaxed roster guidelines and tighter COVID protocols are the best the NBA can do.