The Houston Rockets are the first NBA team to have a COVID-19 outbreak on their hands, as a gathering for haircuts earlier in the week in which a player attending tested positive has put a large portion of their roster in quarantine for contact tracing.
After postponing their Wednesday opener with OKC, we learned on Thursday that John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and Eric Gordon (from a separate staffer testing positive) were all subject to a 7-day quarantine as part of the league’s protocols — while James Harden needed four consecutive negative tests from Tuesday to Friday in order to be cleared after violating protocols by attending an event at a Houston club.
On Friday, the Rockets made official the roster issues they’re facing heading into Saturday’s game with the Portland Trail Blazers, as Wall, Cousins, and Gordon were among six players that would not be making the trip to Portland due to league protocols.
The Rockets list DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Gordon, John Wall and two-way player Mason Jones as out for tomorrow’s game in Portland due to health and safety protocols. Ben McLemore and Kenyon Martin Jr., who both tested positive for COVID-19, are also out.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 25, 2020
That would mean the Rockets available roster looks as follows:
That is, obviously, far from ideal, and Stephen Silas will have an incredible challenge on his hands for his first NBA game as a head coach in figuring out how to piece together a rotation. Depending on when the quarantine period began for Wall and Cousins, they also could miss Monday night’s game with Denver, although we’ll learn about that in the coming days.