James Harden entered the League’s health and safety protocols Tuesday just three hours before the Nets tipoff against the Toronto Raptors. Harden is the seventh Nets player to enter the protocols in the past three days, joining Bruce Brown, Paul Millsap, DeAndre’ Bembry, Jevon Carter, LaMarcus Aldridge, and James Johnson.
Nets‘ James Harden and Bruce Brown have entered health and safety protocols and are out tonight vs. Raptors.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 14, 2021
The drastic loss of talent on the court comes amidst Brooklyn’s five-game homestead, in which they took the first game against the Raptors 131-129 behind Kevin Durant’s game-high 34-point triple-double.
According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Brooklyn has five hardship exemptions available, with each contract costing around $500K toward their luxury tax bill. The franchise elected to use their first hardship exemption to sign Langston Galloway to a 10-day contract after playing for the Phoenix Suns last season.
Brooklyn’s COVID-19 outbreak comes a little over a week after playing against the Chicago Bulls, who have had to postpone two games against the Pacers and Pistons, and have 10 total players under virus protocol.
Unless Harden records two consecutive negative test results in a 24-hour period, the Nets could be relying heavily upon Durant’s production for the foreseeable future.