The NBA on Sunday postponed the Sixers' scheduled game in Philadelphia against the Pelicans after the team placed Shake Milton and Andre Drummond into health and safety protocols, the league announced.
With Milton and Drummond out, the Sixers had a long list of sidelined players that also included Georges Niang (health and safety protocols), Furkan Korkmaz (non-COVID illness) and Jaden Springer (concussion protocol).
Paul Reed and two-way player Aaron Henry are with the Delaware Blue Coats for the G League Winter Showcase in Las Vegas, meaning it would've been more difficult than usual to call them up to Philadelphia in time for a 7 p.m. ET tip-off.
Additionally, Joel Embiid (left ankle soreness), Tyrese Maxey (left quad contusion) and Danny Green (right hip soreness) were listed as questionable with injuries.
Teams must be able to suit up at least eight players in order to play a game. If all of the Sixers' questionable players were out, they would have fallen well short of that number. Seth Curry, Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, Isaiah Joe and Charles Bassey would have been the only Sixers available in that scenario.
A team official said tickets for Sunday's matchup will be honored when the game is rescheduled.
The NBA also postponed Cavs-Hawks and Nets-Nuggets games originally set for Sunday, as well as Magic-Raptors on Monday and Nets-Wizards on Tuesday. COVID-19 cases have recently spiked around the league.
The next game on the Sixers' calendar is Monday night in Boston against the Celtics. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported there's "optimism" the Sixers will be able to play.
Harris, Embiid, Joe and Thybulle entered health and safety protocols in early November. Both Embiid and Harris spoke of experiencing serious COVID-19 symptoms, with Embiid saying, "That jawn hit me hard."