After the initial round of COVID-19 testing, things didn’t look good for the NBA as it prepared to head to Orlando. A total of 26 players tested positive among those who were ostensibly headed to the bubble at Disney World, raising new concerns about whether the safety protocols put in place would be sufficient to protect the scores of players and league personnel involved.
The Brooklyn Nets were hit particularly hard. Taurean Prince, Spencer Dinwiddie, and DeAndre Jordan all tested positive for the disease that has killed more than 130,000 people in the U.S., prompting all three of them to opt out of the restart in Florida later this month.
With Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant both still out with injuries, and Wilson Chandler skipping of the trip due to concerns for his family’s safety, the Nets roster has been decimated. In an effort to bolster that depleted roster, news emerged on Wednesday that they were adding Jamal Crawford, which was followed closely by a report from Shams Charania that Michael Beasley was likewise nearing a deal to join Brooklyn.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 9, 2020
At 30-34 on the season, the Nets currently hold the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference standings. However, they’ll find themselves in a gritty three-way fight with the Magic and Wizards and for the final two playoff seeds when the eight-game regular-season slate kicks off on July 31.
Beasley has not played in the NBA since the Lakers traded him to the Clippers at the February deadline, where he was subsequently waived. He signed with the Guangdong Southern Tigers soon after that but has been trying to work his way back into the league ever since.