The Washington Wizards have six players who have tested positive for COVID-19, making it a total of nine Wizards players who are in the NBA's health and safety protocols.
The Wizards had their next two games against the Cleveland Cavaliers -- originally scheduled for Sunday and Monday -- postponed on Friday. Washington has had four consecutive games postponed since it last played Monday at Phoenix.
"It is just an unfortunate set of circumstances," Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard said in a video call with reporters. "If you follow our track really going back to when we played Chicago [Dec. 29 and 31], almost every team we've played, a player tested positive. The next day [and] the next day, multiple players at some places. It was inevitable.
"The NBA has been pointing to this period for quite some time that this was going to be very difficult. And they weren't kidding. Every city that we went to, it just seemed to be more and more. You never want to say, 'Well, we escaped,' or, 'Nothing has gone wrong for us yet,' because you just know inevitably something is going to be your turn and this was our turn, unfortunately."
The Wizards canceled practice Tuesday before the league's decision to postpone Wednesday's game against the Utah Jazz. The Wizards then listed forward Rui Hachimura and center Moe Wagner as questionable because of health and safety protocols on the injury report.
Sheppard said the team learned it had reached six positive player cases on Friday. The team is hoping that if there are no new positive cases Saturday, the players who are not in quarantine and the safety protocols will be able to return to the facility for individual workouts.
Even if the Wizards were allowed to return to the court and practice, they don't have enough players to field a practice with so many players either injured, such as Russell Westbrook (quad), or in quarantine or safety protocol.
Westbrook will be reevaluated early next week.
"In terms of activity, we have been very limited, to zero, in terms of coming back to the facility," Sheppard said. "Certainly the players that are in quarantine, the players with COVID, can't even work out. If there is no positive test [Saturday], we can get guys back in the gym one-on-zero.
"I think four teams have missed multiple games," Sheppard said. "And so far I would think that is a small victory considering what is going out there, and what could become."