A third Miami Heat player has tested for positive COVID-19, a league source told The Miami Herald on Saturday.
That means two Heat players tested positive in a round of tests administered in the past week.
The Miami Herald is not identifying those two players because they have not authorized their names to be released. But both are rotation players, according to a source.
Those two players are in quarantine and the expectation is that those two players — and the 15 others on the team — will participate when the NBA resumes the season July 30 in Lake Buena Vista.
Heat swingman Derrick Jones Jr. previously tested positive for COVID-19 during tests conducted on June 23. He’s taking part in individual team workouts through Zoom while quarantining.
In the wake of the two positive player tests in the past week, the team closed its AmericanAirlines Arena practice facility for individual workouts and will not practice again until it arrives at Walt Disney World next week, a league source confirmed to the Miami Herald on Friday afternoon.
The Heat’s facility only remains open for mandatory COVID-19 tests for players and staff, which began June 23.
Besides the three players, at least one Heat staffer has tested positive, according to a source.
The Heat, like many organizations, is not saying how many players or employees have tested positive. But the NBA announced Thursday that 25 of 351 players have tested positive for COVID-19 since mandatory testing began on June 23.
With teams currently allowed to conduct mandatory individual workouts at their facilities, according to the NBA’s 113-page health and safety manual sent to teams, players who test positive are required to self-isolate and may not discontinue isolation until they are without any symptoms, return at least two consecutive negative COVID-19 tests more than 24 hours apart and then receive medical clearance before undergoing a cardiac screening.
The Heat on Wednesday will travel, via bus, to the Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, when it will enter the NBA’s quarantine bubble and begin team workouts shortly after. It’s unclear at this point if the players who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 will be cleared to join the team for that bus ride or if they’ll have to wait to make the trip on their own.
According to the NBA, travel to Disney will only be allowed for “individuals who (i) have not returned a positive PCR [COVID-19] test result since the commencement of the league-wide testing program, or previously returned a positive PCR test result, but have satisfied the criteria for discontinuation of isolation ... (ii) report no symptoms associated with COVID-19 on the day of travel; and (iii) do not live with a household member who has or recently had COVID-19 or symptoms.” For individuals who don’t meet this criteria, the team will arrange for travel to Disney when they are cleared and it is approved by the NBA.
Teams are able to sign substitute players from July 1 until Aug. 14 to replace a player who notifies his team that he has elected to sit out the resumption of the season, is an excused or protected player because he’s considered high risk or tests positive for COVID-19. Even with the Heat at the league maximum of 17 players on its roster, it will be able to exceed that total to add a substitute player.
Any player replaced on a team’s eligible roster would be ineligible to participate in the remainder of the 2019-20 season. But with all 17 players expected to be available for the resumption of the season, a substitute player is not expected to be necessary at this point.
The NBA season was suspended on March 11, on the night that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. His teammate, All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, subsequently tested positive.
Among other NBA players who have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19: Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, center DeAndre Jordan and guard Spencer Dinwiddie, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon, Detroit Pistons forward Christian Wood, Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, Los Angeles Clippers guard Landry Shamet and Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield, center Alex Len and forward Jabari Parker.
Also Saturday, the NBA announced its schedule of scrimmage games. The Heat will play the Kings on July 22, the Jazz on July 25 and the Grizzlies on July 28. An NBA spokesman said Saturday it’s undetermined if any scrimmage games will be televised.
Miami will open its seeding schedule at 1 p.m. Aug. 1 (a Saturday) against Denver on ESPN and Fox Sports Sun.