Hornets place Ish Smith in COVID health and safety protocols, now down 5 players

·2 min read

The Charlotte Hornets’ COVID-19 outbreak is still growing.

The Hornets added guard Ish Smith to the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Monday afternoon ahead of their game against the Philadelphia 76ers, making him the fifth player to land on that list in recent days.

The Hornets are now down five players to COVID protocols, after LaMelo Ball, Jalen McDaniels, Mason Plumlee and Terry Rozier all went on the list on Saturday. Those four, along with Smith, did not play in Monday's 127-124 overtime loss at the Spectrum Center.

The team did not specify whether any of the five players have actually tested positive for the coronavirus. Players are required to miss a minimum of 10 days, unless they can return a pair of negative COVID-19 tests within a 24-hour window.

Smith has averaged 4.8 points and 2.4 assists per game this season, his first with the Hornets. The 33-year-old is in his 12th season in the league, and Charlotte marks his 12th team. Ball’s absence is the most severe for the Hornets, as he’s put up 20 points and 8.3 assists per game.

Charlotte isn’t the only team dealing with coronavirus issues in the league. The Chicago Bulls, who the Hornets played last Monday, have now lost three players to health and safety protocols. Bulls star DeMar DeRozan was the latest Chicago player to land on that list on Monday, joining Coby White and Javonte Green.

The Hornets are set to host the 76ers again on Wednesday night. It's unclear if any of the five players who missed on Monday will be available.

Ish Smith of the Charlotte Hornets
Hornets guard Ish Smith is the latest to land in the league's COVID-19 health and safety protocols. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)