Spencer Dinwiddie and DeAndre Jordan, key network members, both said Monday evening that they had tested positive for the corona virus since they returned to Brooklyn for individual workouts last week.
Jordan, who has asthma and has fought several cases of pneumonia in his 12-year career, announced on Twitter that he would not participate in the N.B.A. Restart, which is expected to begin shortly at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida.
Dinwiddie, who scored an average of 20.6 points and 6.8 assists per game in a breakout season, followed Jordan’s tweet with her own he still hoped to play in Florida, however, added that “unfortunately I was one of the cases that has various symptoms.”
It was not immediately known whether the Nets Practice Center, with which teammates and team members Jordan and Dinwiddie had worked, would remain open, or whether the club’s plans to participate in the return of the NBA with 22 teams were due to the lost workforce. The networks refused to comment on Monday evening.
Adam Silver, the N.B.A. Commissioner and Michele Roberts, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, had only expressed this relief 16 of a group of 302 N.B.A. Players had tested positive for the corona virus on June 23.
Assuming the outbreak of the nets is an isolated incident that does not jeopardize the league’s comeback plans overall, it is clear that the nets would not be nearly as strong if they left for Florida on July 7, as planned. Two other former all-stars – Kevin Durant (hamstring) and Kyrie Irving (shoulder surgery) – are still rehabilitating from injuries and have both said they will consider not playing, even if they are healthy. The Nets also lost rookie striker Nicolas Claxton and seasoned striker Wilson Chandler before losing Jordan and possibly Dinwiddie.
Claxton had end-of-season surgery on his left shoulder last week. Chandler decided not to play over the weekend, citing family reasons and concerns about the virus. The networks have already signed veteran security guard Tyler Johnson and are planning to sign Justin Anderson to replace Chandler on Wednesday. The next one to sign is probably a tall man who can stand up for Jordan.
The networks were in seventh place at the Eastern Conference between 30 and 34 when the season was interrupted on March 11 in response to the outbreak of the corona virus. They are half a game at number 8 in Orlando and six games at number 10 in Washington. But the wizards can force a playoff slot if they end within four games of the last eight seeds in the east after each team has played eight games.
A possible consolation for the nets is the ability to keep their selection for the first round in the October 15 draft if they miss the postseason. The Minnesota Timberwolves would choose if the Nets, under interim coach Jacque Vaughn, held on to a playoff spot whose first step after replacing Kenny Atkinson on March 7 was to get Jordan on the grid.