Cleveland Cavaliers veteran Kevin Love entered the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocol on Monday, the team announced.
He will miss the Cavs' game on Monday night against the Charlotte Hornets, and is expected to miss several games, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
It’s unclear whether Love has actually tested positive for the coronavirus.
Love has averaged 9.9 points and 7.3 rebounds in seven games this season off the bench. The 33-year-old is in his eighth season with the Cavaliers, but has played in just 110 games since the start of the 2018-19 season.
“It’s a huge impact," coach J.B. Bickerstaff said about Love's absence, via The Athletic. "Not only Kevin as a player, but him as a person around the locker room and on the floor with the guys, helping the young guys through a lot of things that they’re seeing. He makes their job easier as a basketball player.
"When the ball is in his hands, he’s a threat, he has that gravity as an offensive player, where people hang towards him and that opens up the floor for other people. We will miss him in the locker room and on the floor.”
76ers’ Tobias Harris also in health and safety protocol
The Philadelphia 76ers announced on Monday afternoon that forward Tobias Harris was also placed in the league’s health and safety protocol.
It’s unclear whether he has tested positive, though Charania reported he is expected to miss several games, too. He was replaced in their starting lineup by Furkan Korkmaz for the 76ers’ game on Monday against the Trail Blazers.
Harris has averaged 19.8 points and nine rebounds per game this season with the 76ers. He’s in the third year of a five-year, $180 million deal with Philadelphia.
Bucks’ Khris Middleton enters health and safety protocol
The Milwaukee Bucks lost Khris Middleton to the NBA’s health and safety protocol on Monday, too.
Middleton will miss Milwaukee’s 107-95 loss to the Utah Jazz on Sunday due to an illness, something coach Mike Budenholzer thought was non-COVID-19 related, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
By Monday, though, he was in protocols. It’s unclear if he tested positive.
Middleton has averaged 20 points and 4.7 rebounds this season with Milwaukee, his ninth year with the team. The 30-year-old is in the third year of a five-year, $177.5 million deal with the Bucks.