Kings forward Harrison Barnes revealed Tuesday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Prior to the team leaving last week, I tested positive for Covid-19,” Barnes wrote in a tweet. “I’ve been primarily asymptomatic and am doing well. I’m quarantined and am abiding by the safety protocol until I’m cleared for action. I hope to join my team in Orlando when it is safe to do so! Stay safe out there. -HB”
This solves the mystery, as it was known that a fourth member of the Kings’ traveling party tested positive for the coronavirus right before the team was set to travel to Orlando. The positive test shut the team’s practice facility down, and now we know that that person is Barnes.
Barnes joins Buddy Hield, Alex Len and Jabari Parker as the fourth player to test positive. Hield and Parker already have cleared NBA protocol and met the Kings in Orlando. There is no update yet on Len’s prognosis.
There is no official word on the exact date of Barnes’ positive test, but the practice facility went into lockdown on July 4th or 5th, when an unnamed member of the team’s traveling party tested positive.
If that is indeed the date of the positive test, Barnes will be out until at least July 18-19, and then he has to clear NBA protocol to be allowed in the NBA’s bubble. That is an extremely tight window to prepare for the scrimmage portion of the schedule beginning July 22, and also could put the July 31 opener against the San Antonio Spurs in jeopardy.
The Kings currently have 15 players in the Orlando bubble and have been practicing since Friday evening. Richaun Holmes violated bubble rules and has been placed on quarantine as well in his Orlando hotel room.
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If Barnes isn’t capable of playing, expect Kent Bazemore to get a long look as the starter. The veteran wing joined the Kings at the trade deadline and has made a huge impact as a super-sub.
In addition to Bazemore, the Kings signed Corey Brewer for depth at the wing before they left for Orlando, and they have rookie Justin James who can play minutes at the "three" as well.
Barnes addressed the media in Sacramento on July 3 and was excited and focused on the task at hand. He is an integral part of the Kings’ rotation.
If the Kings have any hope of upsetting the oddsmakers and snapping their 13-year playoff drought, getting Barnes back in the fold as soon as possible if crucial.