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Baynes had COVID-19, Okobo and Lecque away from Suns for ‘personal reasons’

Baynes has not been with the team or touched a basketball for an entire month, while details are still scarce for the two young guards.

Phoenix Suns v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Monty Williams and the Suns have been quiet about who is and isn’t at the Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, but observers had noticed that Aron Baynes was conspicuously absent from practice footage and media sessions. The mystery was sorted out Wednesday when Baynes gave an interview to Shams Charania of Stadium discussing his COVID-19 diagnosis and the toll it took on his body and the lives of his wife and children.

A few takeaways from Baynes’, whose somber tone is admittedly tough to hear in this interview:

  • Baynes’ wife and two children also tested positive, but they are unsure how and when they contracted the disease because of a delay in testing results.
  • Four straight days of sleep. That’s what this disease did to the 6-10, 260 lb. Baynes.
  • Baynes has antibodies and is no longer symptomatic but has not tested negative yet.
  • The first cardio workout came just this week for Baynes.

“With James and Monty both, they asked me if there was anything they could do for my family to help us get through when we were in the thick of it,” Baynes told Charania. “That was definitely family-first, and that’s what I’m worried about more so than anything.”

Baynes said the message since has been about staying ready and preparing for the season. He still expects to join the Suns in Orlando to build the culture and prep for the future.

Suns confirm Okobo and Lecque are away from the team

Shortly before the Suns’ media session in Orlando on Wednesday, a team communications rep notified media that Elie Okobo and Jalen Lecque were not with the team, either. Both are attending to personal matters.

In a previous episode of The Outlet, the Suns’ in-house podcast, Robert Sarver said he had played pickle ball with Okobo, and Williams listed Okobo as a possibility to take the backup point guard spot during the NBA restart. It’s unclear when Okobo might join the team, though.

As for Lecque, few details are available, and it’s unlikely he would have gotten on the court much in Orlando. Northern Arizona Suns GM Jeff Feld told me on Locked On Suns during the NBA hiatus that next year will be another developmental opportunity for Lecque, who will likely split time between the G League and NBA.

Let’s hope everything is OK on the family side for both young guards.

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