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Suns on standby as NBA’s coronavirus contact tracing continues

Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns sits on the bench with teammate Chris Paul #3 during a game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on December 12, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns general manager James Jones joined Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo Wednesday and provided all the information he could on the Suns’ game on Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks being postponed due to contact tracing.

The Suns found out Wednesday morning they would not be playing that night.

“This morning right around shootaround we received a call that the NBA informed us that out of an abundance of caution we were going to postpone our game while they conducted some contact tracing,” Jones said. “We were prepared to play tonight, we were ready for shootaround, but understanding where we are with this landscape it was the best move for everyone.”

The Suns played the Washington Wizards on Monday, who had multiple players test positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Jones spoke with Burns & Gambo prior to the news of Friday’s game against the Golden State Warriors also being postponed.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Jones confirmed the Suns do not have anyone out with the virus.

“We don’t have anyone out — staff, players — due to health and safety protocols,” he said. “This is strictly contact tracing.”

The NBA announced Wednesday afternoon that 16 new players tested positive between Jan. 6-13. The latest injury reports for all 30 teams have a total of 41 players out due to health and safety protocols.

Jones could not illuminate on the full process the league’s contact tracing will go through. As Jones noted, it’s a “very complex” ordeal tracking down where the players were at and who they were in contact with.

“After they do that deep dive, they’ll give us some guidance as to how long the team as a whole, or potentially individuals, have to be kind of kept at bay until they determine they’re safe enough to come back,” Jones said.

Jones said the Suns and the NBA are having daily discussions.

“We’re doing everything we can as a league to play these games, and unfortunately, we’re going up against a virus that doesn’t discriminate,” he said.


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