NBA COVID fallout: Lance Stephenson (Pacers), Stanley Johnson (Lakers) among players signing 10-day contracts


With the omicron variant of COVID-19 spreading with shocking speed, the NBA and the players’ union have agreed on new rules to help teams submit 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 player if two are positive, at least two substitutes if three are positive and at least three if four or more are positive, by ESPN. (For a match to be played, both teams must have eight players available.)

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.

More than 100 players have signed 10-day contracts, thanks to this new hardship allowance. Isaiah Thomas signed 10 days with the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks, but spent most of the second stint in health and safety protocols. Lance Stephenson, Thomas’ briefly teammate with the Grand Rapids Gold, is again a member of the Indiana Pacers after spending 10 days with the Atlanta Hawks.

Another unlikely reunion: Mario Chalmers and the Miami Heat. The two-time champion brought his talents back to South Beach after traveling the world from Italy to Greece to Puerto Rico. Chalmers was called from – you guessed it! – Grand Rapids, but still hasn’t recorded an NBA minute since 2018, when he was with the Memphis Grizzlies,

DeMarcus Cousins, recently dropped by the Milwaukee Bucks, is expected to sign a 10-day contract with the Denver Nuggets, pending a meeting with general manager Tim Connelly, by ESPN.

While most of these emergency signings were just that, in a few cases they led to something more important. Davon Reed will sign a two-way contract with the Denver Nuggets after three days of 10, by Athletics, and veteran Bismack Biyombo will sign a contract for the remainder of the season with the Phoenix Suns, by ESPN. Previously, Alfonzo McKinnie had signed a standard contract with the Chicago Bulls and Quindary Weatherspoon had secured a two-way contract with the Golden State Warriors.

Since January 5, conventional contracts of 10 days – that is to say those which do not require a hardship allowance – can be signed. These are the deals Stanley Johnson (Los Angeles Lakers) and Ryan Arcidiacano (New York Knicks) signed on Thursday. After working in the Lakers’ starting lineup, Johnson was in limbo for a few days as they did not have access to a hardship exception when his 10-day contract expired on Monday. Arcidiacano was in the same boat, having signed a tough deal on Monday, only to see it called off because two Knicks had approved the protocols.

If you’re having trouble figuring out who went where, here’s a team-by-team list of players with a 10-day contract, along with the date they signed (or, in some cases, the day the signing was reported). ):

Chicago Bulls

  • Mac McClung (January 1; second 10 days)

The Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Brandon Goodwin (December 31)

The Dallas Mavericks

  • Marquese Chriss (December 31; second 10 days)

Denver Nuggets

  • Carlik Jones (January 1)
  • Rayjon Tucker (December 31)

Detroit Pistons

  • Cassius Stanley (January 8; second 10 days)
  • Jaysean Paige (December 31)

Indiana Pacers

  • Justin Anderson (January 1)
  • Lance Stephenson (January 1)
  • Ahmad Caver (December 31)

Los Angeles Clippers

  • Xavier Moon (January 4; second 10 days)
  • Wenyen Gabriel (December 31)

the Los Angeles Lakers

  • Stanley Johnson (January 6; second 10 days)

Memphis Grizzly

  • Jon Teske (January 3)
  • DaQuan Jeffries (January 1)

miami heat

  • Mario Chalmers (December 31)
  • Chris Silva (December 31)
  • Nik Stauskas (December 31)

milwaukee dollars

  • Jeff Dowtin (January 7)
  • Langston Galloway (January 7)
  • Luke Kornet (January 3)

New York Knicks

  • Ryan Arcidiacono (January 6)
  • Damyean Dotson (December 31; second 10 days)
  • Matt Mooney (December 31; second 10 days)

Thunder of Oklahoma City

Magic of Orlando

  • Tim Frazier (December 31; second 10 days)
  • Freddie Gillespie (December 31; second 10 days)

Philadelphia 76ers

  • Braxton’s Key (January 5)
  • Charlie Brown Jr. (January 3)

Phoenix Suns

  • Justin Jackson (January 4)
  • Basse de Paris (Dec. 31)

San Antonio Spurs

  • Tyler Johnson (January 6)
  • Anthony Lamb (January 6)
  • Jaylen Morris (January 1)

Toronto Raptors

  • DJ Wilson (January 7; second 10 days)

Utah Jazz

  • Norvel Pelle (January 7)
  • Danuel House Jr. (January 6)

Wizards of Washington

  • Greg Monroe (January 6)
  • Tremont Waters (January 1)