The amended rules, which were outlined in the memo, went into effect Sunday night, and they will remain in place until Jan. 19 -- at which time the league will give teams further guidance on how things will proceed from there.
Under the agreement, a team will be allowed to sign a replacement player for each positive COVID-19 case that crops up across its roster. So, if a team has five positive cases of COVID-19, for example, it could sign five replacement players.
Meanwhile, teams will have to sign at least one replacement player if they have two positive COVID-19 cases; at least two if they have three positive COVID-19 cases; and at least three if they have four or more positive COVID-19 cases.
The memo also states that any time a team is required to sign a player, that player must be available by the start of the team's first game after the allowance to sign a replacement player is granted by the NBA.
Note the difference between a player in Health and Safety Protocols and a player Health and Safety Protocols due to a positive COVID case. So if you had 4 player in Health and Safety Protocols due to positive tests, you'd need to add at least 3 players according to the new rule. But if you had 4 players in Health and Safety Protocols, yet only two of them had COVID, you'd only be required to add one additional hardship player.
Also of note, the salaries of these players signed with these hardship exemptions won't count against the cap or for luxury tax purposes. All 2-way players who were previously limited to 50 games with their parent team are now also eligible for all games. The NBA is taking all these measures so that they don't have to postpone any more games.
The Celtics have already signed Justin Jackson and C.J. Miles. Due to privacy rules, teams don't announce whether a player who has entered Health and Safety Protocols has tested positive to COVID or not. Nor will teams out unvaccinated players. Teams can and have announced that their entire team is vaccinated, but in the case of the Celtics, all we've heard is that they still have multiple unvaxxed players.
Depending on how many of the current Celtics that are in HSP (Health and Safety Protocols. Tired of typing that out, so going to make this abbreviation a thing) have COVID will determine if the Celtics are required to add a 3rd player today.
Seems rather inevitable that at some point soon, the Celtics will sign another player, so who do you want Brad Stevens to sign next?
The obvious frontrunner would have been Isaiah Thomas, but he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers this weekend. I suppose he could still be an answer since he only signed a 10 day deal, but let's hear some additional names!