NBA COVID fallout: Joe Johnson (Celtics) among players on 10-day contract

With more than 90 players in COVID health and safety protocols and the omicron variant spreading with shocking speed, the NBA and the players’ union have agreed on new rules to help teams come up with more comprehensive rosters and help the league avoid postponements. Teams are allowed to sign a replacement player for each player who tests positive for COVID-19, and teams are obligatory to sign at least one substitute if two are positive, at least two substitutes if three are positive and at least three if four or more are positive, by ESPN.

The new rules, which will be in effect until January 19, state that the salaries of replacement players will not count towards the salary cap or luxury tax. When a team has multiple COVID cases on their roster and need to sign a replacement, the player must be available at the start of their next game.

For an NBA game to be played, both teams must have eight players available. The league has postponed nine games this season and several teams have played shorthanded.

Before the rule changed, there had already been a wave of signings using the hardship exception, which allows a team to temporarily bypass the squad limit. In one particularly absurd case, the Chicago Bulls signed Stanley Johnson to a 10-day contract on December 9, only to be tested positive two days later, which coach Billy Donovan said, “We need a test for a test right now.” The Bulls only played one game before Johnson’s 10 days expired, the result of two postponements, and he was inactive for that, isolating himself according to health and safety protocols.

Last week, two-time All-Star Isaiah Thomas joined the Los Angeles Lakers after a 42-point performance on his G League debut with Grand Rapids Gold. Lance Stephenson, also known as Grand Rapids, made his debut for the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, the same day Joe Johnson played his first NBA game since the 2017-18 season. Johnson, who turned 40 in June, months before winning his second BIG3 MVP, has reunited with the Boston Celtics, the team that drafted him 20 years ago.

Also Wednesday: The Orlando Magic, which has six struggling players, used a roster made up entirely of them.

If you’re having trouble figuring out who went where, here’s a team-by-team list of players who have recently signed 10-day contracts, along with the date they signed (or, in some cases, the day the signature has been reported):

Atlanta Hawks

  • Chaundee Brown (posted on Dec 26)
  • Hairdressing salon for cats (December 25)
  • Wes Iwundu (December 23)
  • Lance Stephenson (December 22)
  • Malcolm Hill (December 22)

Boston Celtics

  • Al-Farouq Aminu (December 25)
  • Norvel Pelle (Dec 25)
  • Joe Johnson (December 22)
  • CJ Miles (December 20)
  • Justin Jackson (December 18)

brooklyn nets

  • Wenyen Gabriel (December 21)
  • James Ennis III (December 18)
  • Shaquille Harrison (December 18)
  • Langston Galloway (December 16; signed a second 10-day contract December 26)

Chicago Bulls

The Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Trevon Scott (December 22)
  • Justin Anderson (December 21)
  • Luke Kornet (December 21)

The Dallas Mavericks

  • Charlie Brown Jr. (December 23)
  • Carlik Jones (December 23)
  • Brandon Knight (December 23)
  • George King (December 22)
  • Marquis Chriss (December 21)
  • Theo Pinson (December 20)

Denver Nuggets

  • Davon Reed (December 19; second 10 days)

Detroit Pistons

  • Deividas Sirvydis (reported December 26)
  • Derrick Walton (reported December 25th)
  • Cassius Stanley (reported December 25th)
  • Cheick Diallo (December 23)

Warriors of the Golden State

  • Quinndary Weatherspoon (December 23)

Los Angeles Clippers

the Los Angeles Lakers

  • Darren Collison (December 24)
  • Stanley Johnson (December 24)
  • Jemerrio Jones (December 21)
  • Isaiah Thomas (December 17, expired December 26)

miami heat

Memphis Grizzly

  • Xavier Sneed (reported December 27)
  • Tyrell Terry (December 25)
  • Shaq Buchanon (December 25)

milwaukee dollars

  • Javin DeLaurier (Dec 23)

Minnesota Timber Wolves

  • Greg Monroe (December 27)
  • Chris Silva (December 21)
  • Rayjon Tucker (December 21)

New Orleans Pelicans

  • Feron Hunt (December 27)
  • Justin James (December 26)
  • Anthony Tolliver (December 26)
  • Jared Harper (December 21)

New York Knicks

  • Danuel House Jr. (December 23)
  • Damyean Dotson (December 21)
  • Matt Mooney (December 21)
  • Tyler Hall (December 18)

Thunder of Oklahoma City

  • Rob Edwards (December 27)
  • Scotty Hopson (December 27)
  • Olivier Sarr (Dec. 27)

Magic of Orlando

  • Tim Frazier (December 21)
  • Freddie Gillespie (December 21)
  • Aleem Ford (December 17)
  • Hassani Gravett (December 17)
  • BJ Johnson (December 17)
  • Admiral Schofield (December 17)

Philadelphia 76ers

Phoenix Suns

Portland Trail Blazers

Kings of Sacramento

  • Emmanuel Mudiay (Dec 22)
  • Ade Murkey (December 22)
  • Justin Robinson (December 17)

Toronto Raptors

  • Daniel Oturu (December 24)
  • DJ Wilson (December 23
  • Tremont Waters (December 23)
  • Juwan Morgan (December 23)
  • Brandon Goodwin (reported December 20)
  • Nik Stauskas (reported December 20)

Wizards of Washington

  • Jordan Goodwin (December 26)
  • Jordan Schakel (December 22)