Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul has been placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols as of Wednesday and tested positive for COVID-19, according to Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro.
Paul had received a Pfizer vaccine in February, Gambadoro adds.
The team confirmed that Paul was placed in health and safety protocols and said it will provide a health update on Saturday. Head coach Monty Williams spoke to reporters Wednesday and said the Suns had practiced the past two days.
He did not go into detail about Paul’s status.
“I think the update has already been given,” Williams said. “There’s no need to talk about that anymore. We put a statement out and I’ve been pretty consistent … I’m not at liberty to talk about those situations.
“I mean, it’s like anything else when we’ve had guys in the past that had it or been in that situation where you have to go in the protocols. There’s a natural concern for the person. That’s basically where it ends.”
It’s unknown if the point guard has symptoms.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania first reported that Paul was entering the NBA’s health and safety protocols. At this time, he is sidelined indefinitely and his status for the upcoming Western Conference Finals is unknown, Charania reported.
Paul must clear COVID-19 tests to return to the team.
The Suns await the winner of the Jazz-Clippers series. If that series ends in six games, the Suns would play on Sunday. If that series goes to Game 7, the Western Conference Finals would start on Tuesday.
The isolation period for being in health and safety protocols could be shorter for a vaccinated individual, according to Charania.
The protocols are the league’s playbook for handling all matters related to the coronavirus this season. There have been examples of players missing multiple weeks following positive COVID-19 tests; there have also been examples of players missing very short amounts of time for matters such as contact tracing investigations.
In March, the league also relaxed some of the protocols that were put into place last fall, doing so in response to players and coaches choosing to receive the vaccine that protects against the coronavirus.
But the league also cautioned at that time that “if an individual has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, the previous protocols apply” — which would still mean that anyone with those symptoms “may be subject to quarantine” regardless of their vaccination status.
On Tuesday, the NBA announced that Paul was named to the All-NBA Second Team.
This is the 10th time in Paul’s career that he has been named to an All-NBA team and is coming off of back-to-back seasons winning such honors. He played in 70 games this year and finished the regular season averaging 16.4 points, 8.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds in his first year for Phoenix.
Paul led the Suns in their 4-0 sweep of the Denver Nuggets, including 37 points in Game 4.