It has been nearly three weeks since the NBA season was suspended and a week into the ongoing hiatus, the Brooklyn Nets had announced that four players tested positive for the coronavirus.
General manager Sean Marks hopped on a conference call with the media on Wednesday, but before taking any questions, began by giving an update on the four Nets players that had tested positive for COVID-19.
"So far, everybody is healthy," Marks said.
"The guys who had tested positive have cleared their 14 days of self-isolation and quarantine. They are still practicing social distancing like the rest of us. They are cleared like everybody, like the rest of the team and the staff right now."
On being asked, he clarified that not just the four players but the entire travel party, Nets organization, and basketball operations department were symptom-free.
In a normal world at this time, the Nets would have been looking to book their ticket to the 2020 postseason. Either way, their sights are set in the future to the 2020-21 season when they should welcome back both of their superstars, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, from an Achilles and shoulder injury, respectively.
But in these unprecedented times, Marks is unsure when either superstar could return.
"I couldn't even give an answer on whether they'd be able to play this season. I don't think its fair to those athletes or the performance team to put a timeline on it. I think everyone is dealing with bigger, far more pressing things." said Marks.
"I think something we have to think about is our facilities are closed and just by getting time off, yes, does that make your body heal and so forth?" Marks said. "But there were several of our players that need the facilities, need game reps, need to be playing, and you could take the other side of this and say that this hiatus has set their rehabilitation back and it's slowed them."
Additionally, he confirmed that he hadn't spoken with any candidates for the team's head coaching job for next season. The Nets and head coach Kenny Atkinson had mutually agreed to part ways just days before the season's suspension.
"No, we are not reaching out to anybody right now. That would completely not be fair to our group."
However, he did mention that while the decision would be made by him and ownership group, it would have a collaborative approach that would include speaking to Durant, Irving and others before the final decision is made.
As for the 2020 NBA Draft, which may or may not take place on its original date of June 25, Marks recognized the challenge but shared that all NBA teams were going to have to face the same challenges.
"The biggest challenge for potentially everybody is the lack of exposure to these athletes," Marks said. "This is a case where you trust the work that your scouting department has done for the last year or two years."
Finally, speaking on when the NBA could possibly return, Marks spoke of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's proven track record 'of being very creative, being very fluid and having a collaborative approach to any different circumstance they've had'.
"I think they're turning over every rock they possibly can to play and looking at every different outcome," Marks said. "From a team perspective, all I can say is we have to be preparing for everything."
The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.