Celtics star forward Jayson Tatum tested positive for COVID-19, The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn reported Saturday.
Tatum received the positive COVID-19 test Friday night and immediately went into quarantine, according to Washburn. He is still awaiting the results of a confirmation test and is asymptomatic, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald reported.
With the positive COVID-19 test, Tatum will likely have to quarantine for the next 10-14 days. Saturday’s news of Tatum’s positive test comes a day after center Robert Williams reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus.
Center Tristan Thompson and forward Grant Williams were also forced to quarantine for at least seven days starting on Friday due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. A league source told Washburn that Robert Williams, Grant Williams, Thompson, and guard Carsen Edwards all shared a car ride on the team’s recent road trip, with Edwards being the only player wearing a mask during the ride. Edwards was cleared to play Friday night against the Wizards because he wasn’t considered a close contact.
In the aftermath of Tatum’s positive test, the Celtics canceled Saturday’s practice and closed the Auerbach Center for use on Saturday. The Celtics’ matchup against the Heat on Sunday is still scheduled to be played. Players and other members of the organization were tested twice on Friday, according to Washburn.
Tatum’s positive COVID-19 test also forced Wizards star Bradley Beal to miss their game against the Heat on Saturday. Beal and Tatum spoke in close proximity to each other following Friday’s Celtics-Wizards game, causing the league to investigate Beal’s potential exposure, according to The Athletic‘s Shams Charania.
This is part of health and safety protocols investigating potential exposure that occurred when Bradley Beal and Jayson Tatum were speaking in close proximity on the court postgame Friday night, sources said. https://t.co/42fYb8Yesc
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 9, 2021
The quarantine period will force Tatum to miss at least five games, and potentially seven games if he quarantines for 14 days. The Celtics will be without their leading scorer for their upcoming matchups against the Heat, Bulls, Magic (twice), and Knicks. A 14-day quarantine would cause Tatum to miss two games against the 76ers.
Tatum has had a strong start to the new season. His 26.9 points per game is eighth-highest in the league. He scored 32 points in the Celtics’ win Friday night.
With four players forced to miss games due to COVID-19 or health protocols, the Celtics have just 11 players (including two-way players Tacko Fall and Tremont Waters) available to play. The league requires teams to have eight players active in order for games to be played.
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