Raptors' COVID-19 issues worsen, forcing postponement of Sunday game against Bulls

·2 min read
Raptors' COVID-19 issues worsen, forcing postponement of Sunday game against Bulls
The NBA has postponed Sunday evening's Raptors home game against Chicago due to health and safety protocols. Toronto wouldn't meet the league's requirement for eight available players due to positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing.
The NBA has postponed Sunday evening's Raptors home game against Chicago due to health and safety protocols. Toronto wouldn't meet the league's requirement for eight available players due to positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing.

(Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images - image credit)

The NBA has postponed Sunday evening's Toronto Raptors home game against the Chicago Bulls due to positive COVID-19 results and contact tracing within the club.

With forward Pascal Siakam, head coach Nick Nurse and five members of his staff unavailable for Friday night's 122-111 win over Houston, Toronto would not have the league-required eight available players to proceed with Sunday's contest.

The Raptors-Bulls game is the 30th to be postponed so far this season because of COVID-19 testing or contact tracing but the first time Toronto has had to reschedule. Three NBA teams haven't had a game postponed.

Toronto used 12 players on Friday and had 14 listed as available to play. For Sunday's game, Siakam was the only player who had been listed on Saturday's injury report as out because of health and safety protocols, which indicates results returned Saturday either showed more problems, or the contact tracing investigations showed players had been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have to quarantine.

Toronto announced Nurse and most of his staff would miss Friday's game a few hours before tip-off.

At the time, Toronto general manager Bobby Webster said it wasn't clear Siakam's situation was linked to the coaches.

"The NBA is being extremely careful here," Webster said. "It's early in what's going on here, so I think we're all being conscientious and not taking any risks.... We'll see what tomorrow brings us."

WATCH | Lowry leads Nurse, Siakam-less Raps past Rockets:

Toronto's staff was already shorthanded, given Chris Finch left the team earlier this week to become head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Adrian Griffin, Jama Mahlalela and Jon Goodwillie make up the remainder of Nurse's coaching staff.

The Raptors are scheduled to host Detroit on Tuesday at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., before wrapping up its first-half schedule on Thursday in Boston. They are playing home games in Florida due to Canada's border regulations around COVID-19, and health and safety measures in Toronto.