Later this morning, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports / 98.7 FM Radio found out that Chris Paul got at least one positive test.
Chris Paul did have a positive test.— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) June 16, 2021
And then even later on Wednesday morning, the Phoenix Suns organization acknowledged that Chris Paul is in protocols, and that the next update would be provided on Saturday, January 19. At a lunch time post-practice media presser on Wednesday, head coach Monty Williams declined further comment on this status.
“There’s a natural concern for the person,” Williams said of anyone who tests positive. “The league is trying to do everything they can to keep the league and the team safe.”
With a positive test (likely more than one, to allow for false-positive verification), Paul will need to receive consecutive negative tests, at least 24 hours apart, before he would be cleared to play again for the Phoenix Suns.
Paul had just helped the Phoenix Suns sweep the Denver Nuggets in round two of the playoffs, scoring 37 points and dishing 9 assists in the convincing win in Denver. He was just named yesterday to his 10th All-NBA team as one of the best four guards in the entire league.
But now he might not be able to lead them when the next round begins.
Entering the health and safety protocols means he’s been quarantined from teammates until he is cleared of COVID-19, whether he has it or not.
According to Shams, depending on the medical circumstance, an isolation period could be shorter for a vaccinated individual.
That’s all we know for now. In keeping with the NBA’s lead on the whole, the Phoenix Suns have not reported how many of their players were vaccinated from the virus this spring.
It is unclear whether Chris Paul had been vaccinated from COVID-19 this spring. Update: nothing first hand, but multiple people have said Paul is vaccinated now.
According to Gambo sources, the Suns had the highest vaccination rate in the league.
The Phoenix Suns did have the highest level of participation of vaccinations in the league, which includes players, coaches, staff etc...— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) June 16, 2021
It is also unclear whether Paul has actually contracted the virus or merely been in close contact with someone who has. Update: he apparently has the virus.
What we do know is that the Phoenix Suns are scheduled to start playing their first Western Conference Finals since 2010 in less than a week and now it’s possible that they will play the WCF without their All-Star point guard.
But even worse than that, they cannot afford to have Paul infect his teammates along the way — hence the quarantine protocols.
If Paul has COVID
We know that a few Suns have come down with COVID-19 this year — Cameron Johnson and Jalen Smith to name two — and it was not pleasant for them. They missed weeks and struggled physically, relative to playing NBA games, for a period of time after that. Not to say Paul would have the same reaction — many people are wholly nonsymptomatic while positive for the virus — but that’s what we’ve seen with Suns players this year.
We also know that, if vaccinated prior to contracting COVID-19, Paul is likely to recover faster and suffer fewer symptoms.
And we know that before you test positive for COVID you have already had some hours of exposure to those around you, which means the virus might have spread to teammates already.
If Paul was simply exposed to someone with COVID
If Paul does not have COVID, then he still needs to quarantine for a while to be sure he does not contract it or give it to others — like the rest of his team.
The NBA quarantined the whole Suns team earlier this year for several days while they tested and re-tested daily to make sure no one got sick. Three of their games were suspended and rescheduled for later in the year.
The Western Conference Finals would start on Sunday (five days from now) if the Clippers-Jazz series ends in six games or less.
That series is tied 2-2 at the moment, and reports have come out this morning that Kahwi Leonard will miss (at least) Game 5 due to a knee injury.
Kawhi Leonard is expected to miss Game 5 against the Jazz tonight with a knee injury suffered in game 4, sources tell @ramonashelburne & me. His status for rest of series is in doubt as well.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) June 16, 2021
Here’s a bright side, Suns fans:
Imagine waking up today excited and nervous for Suns-Nuggets Game 6 only to find out Chris Paul is out for the rest of the series! It’s good the Suns already closed out the Nuggets and are in a one-week rest period before playing another game.