6/19/21, 7:29 PM
Bottom Line: Paul reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. Standard of care in medical facilities is still a 10 day quarantine, even for vaccinated people. That would put him out until Game 4 of the Conference Finals. Fingers crossed that the reports are incorrect or that the NBA has modified its policies to give him a faster avenue for return.
Chris Paul entered the NBA’s health and safety protocol for a positive COVID-19 test on Wednesday 6/16.
Assuming no major setbacks, his worst case scenario would mean a 10-day quarantine and return 6/26. With the Western Conference Finals starting 6/20, that would probably mean 3 games of missed time.
HOWEVER, in March the NBA did publicly announce changes to their COVID-related restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals. Luckily, Chris Paul had his vaccinations, so he might catch a break here.
The hard part is that the public release of the changes for vaccinated players didn’t specify what will happen to those individuals who actually test positive (rather than simply have exposures). Highly respected reporters - like ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski - have speculated that Paul may be able to return sooner rather than later.
In the medical world, the 10-day quarantine is still in place for those who test positive, so it’s hard to imagine the NBA making an exception, even if it means a Hall of Famer towards the end of his career is denied his best chance to contend for his first title. Our expectation is therefore still that we see him for the first time in Game 4.
Image Source: Keith Allison, CC-BY-SA-2.0