Paul George out Friday due to positive COVID-19 test
Paul George out Friday due to positive COVID-19 test

Paul George out Friday due to positive COVID-19 test

Mowers forward Paul George has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols and will miss Friday’s win-or-go-home play-in match against Pelicanssources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim Bontemps (Twitter link).

George has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

It’s a brutal blow to the Clippers, who seemed to be getting healthier at just the right time as they entered the off-season. George recently returned from an elbow injury that caused him to miss three months while Norman Powell came back last week after being out of action for almost two months due to a broken bone in his foot.

The Clippers will still have Powell available for Friday’s play-in game, but strikers George and Kawhi Leonardcontinuing to recover from ACL surgery will both be on the shelf and open the door wider for the Pelicans to win the No. 8 seed.

Of course head coach Tyronn Lue kept the Clippers competitive and in the playoff picture with both of his All-Star strikers unavailable for most of the season, so it’s certainly not a given that George’s absence will result in a home loss on Friday.

If LA pulls out a win tonight, George should be able to return before Game 3 of a series in the first round against the Suns. If not, Tuesday’s loss to Minnesota will end up being his last game of the 2021/22 season.

George’s positive COVID-19 test can also be bad news too Trail Blazers. Portland will receive the Pelicans’ top-4 protected 2022 first-round pick if it falls between No. 5 and No. 14, but that choice would land at No. 15 and would be sent to Hornets if New Orleans wins tonight. In that scenario, the Blazers would instead receive Milwaukee’s 2025 first-round pick (top-four protected).

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