Brooklyn Nets superstar forward Kevin Durant, guard Kyrie Irving and center-forward LaMarcus Aldridge have cleared the NBA's health and safety protocols, the team announced Tuesday.
Durant, the NBA's leading scorer, and Aldridge would be eligible to play in Brooklyn's home game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.
Irving, however, will not be able to play because he hasn't met New York City's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for athletes competing in the city's public venues. The Nets' next road game will be on January 5 against the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis.
Brooklyn recently saw 3 of its games postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak across its roster. The Nets returned to the court on Christmas Day, posting a 122-115 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers and a 124-108 win over the Los Angeles Clippers two days later.
Durant, 33, is averaging 29.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game for the Eastern Conference-leading Nets (23-9).
In his 14th season, Durant is a former league MVP, an 11-time All-Star and a four-time league scoring champion.
Irving, 29, hasn't played this season due to his strong stance on remaining unvaccinated, which made him unavailable for roughly half the team's games.
Aldridge, 36, is averaging 14.0 points and 5.7 rebounds in 25 games (8 starts) this season.
OKC’s Giddey enters protocols
Oklahoma City Thunder coach Mark Daigneault and standout rookie Josh Giddey were added to the NBA's health and safety protocols on Tuesday.
Daigneault, 36, is in his second season as the Thunder's head coach and has a 34-70 overall record. Assistant coach Mike Wilks will be the acting head coach Tuesday night when the Thunder face the Sacramento Kings in the opener of a two-game trip.
Daigneault is the fifth NBA coach in the protocols, joining Frank Vogel (Los Angeles Lakers), Billy Donovan (Chicago Bulls), Monty Williams (Phoenix Suns) and Chauncey Billups (Portland Trail Blazers.)
Giddey becomes the fifth player on the team in the COVID-19 protocols, joining fellow guard Tre Mann, forwards Darius Bazley and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, and center Aleksej Pokusevski.
Giddey is averaging 10.8 points a game to go along with team-leading totals in rebounds (7.1) and assists (6.1) in 30 games (all starts) this season. The 19-year-old Australian was selected by Oklahoma City with the sixth overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft.