The Los Angeles Clippers are in the NBA bubble in Orlando while preparing for the season restart. However, one player is no longer with his teammates. Montrezl Harrell recently had to exit the bubble due to a family emergency.
Shams Charania of The Athletic first reported the news, citing team sources. He said that this was an "urgent family situation" but did not have any further details. Charania also said that Harrell plans to return to the team in the future. There is no current target date for his return to the team, and the Clippers have not provided any details about the nature of the emergency.
When Harrell returns to Orlando, he will not immediately rejoin his team. Any player that leaves the bubble has to go into quarantine upon their return. For example, Sacramento Kings player Richaun Holmes briefly left the bubble to pick up a food delivery. He had to go into a mandatory 10-day quarantine due to an "unapproved departure."
According to ESPN, the NBA has a separate set of protocols for approved departures, especially those involving family emergencies. If the player is gone for fewer than seven days and tests negative for COVID-19 on each day, he is outside the bubble, his time in quarantine is much shorter. The player would only have to remain away from his teammates for only four days.
The Clippers do not have a game scheduled until the first day of the season restart. The Los Angeles Clippers will face off with the Los Angeles Lakers on July 30 as part of a doubleheader. The Utah Jazz will kick off the action first with a game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
While Harrell has already left the bubble due to the family emergency, two other players could soon move as well. Gordon Hayward (Boston Celtics) and Mike Conley (Utah Jazz) are both expecting their wives to go into labor. Hayward's wife has a due date in September, while Conley's wife has a date of Aug. 27. Both players will likely leave the bubble in order to be with their loved ones.
"It's a pretty easy decision for me on that," Hayward told ESPN. "I've been at the birth of every one of my children, and I think there are more important things in life. So we'll cross that bridge when we get there. I know the NBA has a protocol for that type of thing, and hopefully, I can do the quarantining and testing the appropriate amount of time and then be back with the boys."