The Celtics will be down three of their four top big men on the roster for at least the next week due to NBA health protocols and contact tracing rules.
Backup center Robert Williams has tested positive for COVID-19 according to a league source. The news was first reported by the Boston Globe. R. Williams will be out a minimum of seven days in order to quarantine and after contact tracing was done, Tristan Thompson and Grant Williams will also be out for the next seven days as well.
The Celtics play four games over the next seven days, starting with a tilt against the Washington Wizards tonight at the TD Garden.
The Celtics are expected to get some roster help back on Friday night as well with reserve wing Javonte Green completing his seven-day quarantine and expected to be available and Jeff Teague (questionable with ankle injury) also potentially back in the fold. However, Boston’s depth in the frontcourt will be incredibly shorthanded as they are down to just two true healthy bigs on the roster in Daniel Theis and two-way center Tacko Fall.
Here’s a look at the team’s current depth chart among active players
Guards: Smart, Pritchard, Teague (questionable for Friday night), Edwards, Waters
Wings: Brown, Tatum, Ojeleye, Green, Nesmith
Bigs: Theis, Fall
OUT: Walker, Langford, Thompson, G. Williams, R. Williams
Can the Celtics sign a player with so many guys out?
Despite having just 10 players on the 15-man roster available, the Celtics will not qualify for a hardship exception yet since the absences of more than three players are not expected to last beyond next week. The Celtics could still try to add a player to the roster but they will need to waive somebody in order to create an opening. Given the delay in getting a player to join the team while completing health protocols, it seems unlikely the C’s will make a move if Boston’s bigs are expected to be back in the next week.
How will the Celtics handle the rotation with so many bigs out?
Say goodbye to the double big starting five for at least the next few games. In fact, we may be seeing some Semi Ojeleye or