In some way, shape, or form, all 32 of the NBA’s teams have been impacted by the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Early last week, the league set a record for the most players to appear in a season despite not even reaching the halfway point. Earlier today, ESPN Senior Insider Kevin Pelton provided a look at the rosters most ravaged by the guidelines.
It’s notable that the Portland Trail Blazers weren’t among the top 10 among teams that lost the most value to the health and safety protocols. The Cleveland Cavaliers, for example, ranked No. 1, with 1,110 minutes lost and 2.6 WARP (wins above replacement player). Yet even so, they’ve remained an elite Eastern Conference power. Pelton also hit on the teams that had to utilize the most minutes for players on hardship contracts.
Minutes for players on hardship contracts this season by team: pic.twitter.com/wWkdgBpEEE— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) December 30, 2021
As it stands today, the Utah Jazz were the last team to have a player enter protocols, with Joe Ingles becoming the first on Tuesday. The results — one of the NBA’s best point differentials and records — have been evident.
Thinking more Blazers-related, Portland has too seen itself victimized by the pandemic, having had 20 different players suit up and contribute for them throughout the 2021-22 season. They’ve also had to endure temporarily without their head coach Chauncey Billups, who missed three games, all losses, after he entered health and safety protocols.
Pelton hits on that, and much more in his recent piece, including nine other teams hit hardest, and some intricacies on how some of the NBA’s hardship contract players have performed.