Philadelphia 76ers All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are potentially ineligible to play tonight in the NBA All-Star Game due to contact tracing, according to Shams Charania.
Both players were in contact with a barber who tested positive for COVID-19 in Philadelphia.
The barber has been retested because of the inconclusive initial test and they’re waiting on results, notes Adrian Wojnarowski.
Embiid and Simmons traveled by themselves on private planes and had no exposure or contact to other players or people down in the Atlanta bubble due to the league’s quarantine protocols.
The NBA currently still plans to have the 76ers’ duo do media sessions prior to the game from their rooms, despite contact tracing possibly keeping them out of the game, according to Wojnarowski.
76ers head coach Doc Rivers, who is coaching Team Durant, spoke about the situation, saying “it’s not looking great” for the two to play.
“I would feel more for them if they had COVID,” said Rivers. “They get to make the team still, and they’re on the team … But you want to play and them being in a jersey.”
The barber’s additional test has returned positive for COVID-19, according to Wojnarowski, who also notes that the league must make a decision still, but it is highly unlikely Embiid and Simmons will be cleared to play tonight.
Embiid is on Team Durant, while Simmons is on Team LeBron, so both teams will have 11 players if they ultimately can’t participate.
*Update: The NBA is officially ruling out Embiid and Simmons for the All-Star Game, per Wojnarowski.
The two players also won’t meet with reporters as previously scheduled.
Beyond the All-Star Game, Embiid and Simmons’ status for games this upcoming week remains unclear, as the 76ers play on March 11, March 12 and March 14.