NBA

NBA coronavirus updates: Grizzlies’ next three games postponed due to COVID-19 issues

The Memphis Grizzlies' COVID-19 issues got worse Thursday as the NBA postponed their next three games in accordance with the league's health and safety protocols.

The Grizzlies won't play at the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday, and they won't host the Sacramento Kings on Sunday and Monday. The news comes after Wednesday's game with the Trail Blazers was postponed due to contact tracing within the Grizzlies' roster.

The Grizzlies had one positive COVID-19 case as of Thursday, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Commercial Appeal, and the NBA is erring on the side of caution to prevent spread. The person requested anonymity because details of the team's outbreak have not been announced.

In the NBA's statement, the league said it postponed the games due to "unavailable players for the Grizzlies and contact tracing for other players on their roster and in order to ensure the health and safety of players on both teams."

Memphis Grizzlies Tyus Jones (21) looks passes during a game at FedExForum in downtown Memphis, Tenn., on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. (Photo: Ariel Cobbert /The Commercial Appeal)

Players have been tested twice a day since the beginning of training camp with a PCR test and a rapid saliva test. Teams must have a minimum eight players available to play in a game.

The Grizzlies announced Saturday they'll be without Jonas Valanciunas, who is in the league's health and safety protocols and didn't travel on this current road trip.

Since last Friday, five of the Grizzlies' next seven games have been postponed. It began when the Grizzlies' game with the Minnesota Timberwolves was postponed because of contract tracing issues with the Timberwolves.

Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns later announced he tested positive for COVID-19.

The Grizzlies played the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday and the Phoenix Suns on Monday. The 76ers had to postpone their next game Sunday due to contact tracing but resumed play Wednesday against the Boston Celtics. 

Evan Barnes, Memphis Commercial Appeal

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