Unvaccinated NBA players will not be able to play in Toronto this season
Things can change, the science and what is considered best practices with COVID-19 variants and vaccines continues to evolve, but heading into the 2022-23 NBA the status quo remains.
Unvaccinated players will not be able to play games in Toronto this season, the NBA told teams in a memo today, reports Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.
Sources: NBA informed teams via memo today that, as it stands, non-vaccinated NBA players without a valid medical reason will still be ineligible to play in Toronto for the 2022-23 season.— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) August 8, 2022
The NBA did not mandate vaccination for players last season, still more than 97% of players did get the shot (how many have gotten subsequent boosters is unknown). There were a few holdouts, most notably Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets, but after New York modified its vaccination policy, he could play home games in Brooklyn at the end of the season and through the playoffs.
This is obviously a consideration for the Raptors, who had all their players vaccinated last season and are largely bringing back the same core. Teams with unvaccinated players can adapt for a game during the season. However, things will get interesting if the mandate is in place come the playoffs and a team with an unvaccinated player or players faces the Raptors.
But a lot of things could change between now and next April.