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Blazers plan to sign Jaylen Adams as substitute player, sources say

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The Portland Trail Blazers plan to sign guard Jaylen Adams as a substitute player to replace Trevor Ariza, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Adams was the G-League’s MVP runner-up this season with the Wisconsin Herd. He averaged 21.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.7 assists in 33 games for Wisconsin.

Ariza is opting out of participation in the NBA’s Orlando restart of the season, committing instead to a one-month visitation window with his young son, sources told Wojnarowski last week.

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Nets’ DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie say they tested positive for coronavirus

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Brooklyn Nets center DeAndre Jordan has ruled himself out of the season’s resumption in Orlando, Florida, after testing positive for the coronavirus, and teammate Spencer Dinwiddie is “strongly considering” doing the same, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“Found out last night and confirmed again today that I’ve tested positive for Covid while being back in market,” Jordan posted to Twitter on Monday evening. “As a result of this, I will not be in Orlando for the resumption of the season.”

The Nets will sign a substitute for Jordan, sources told Wojnarowski.

Dinwiddie told The Athletic earlier Monday that he was recently diagnosed with the virus and is not sure he will be able to participate when the season resumes.

“Over the past few months, I have been diligent about protecting myself and others from COVID-19 by following all designated protocol and quarantining,” Dinwiddie said in a statement. “I was ready and prepared to rejoin my teammates. … I flew private to return to New York, passed multiple COVID-19 tests over my first several days in New York and was able to participate in a couple practices within the first week.

“Originally, we were supposed to be one of the teams to enter into the Orlando bubble early, but training camp got switched back to New York and unfortunately I am now positive. Given that I have experienced symptoms, including fever and chest tightness, it is unclear on whether or not I’ll be able to participate in Orlando.”

Dinwiddie said he will remain quarantined and reevaluate after 14 days.

The guard averaged 20.6 points, 6.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds for the 30-34 Nets, who were in seventh place in the East when the season was suspended. The Nets are one of the 22 NBA teams scheduled to resume games on July 30 in Orlando, Florida.

They Nets will also be without forward Wilson Chandler next month. Chandler informed the team that he is opting out of playing, he told ESPN’s Malika Andrews on Sunday.



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Hawks approved to turn State Farm Arena into huge voting station for upcoming elections

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The Fulton County Registration and Elections Board approved a plan by the Atlanta Hawks to transform State Farm Arena into a massive polling station for Georgia’s primary runoff election on Aug. 11, as well as early voting for the general election scheduled for Nov. 3.

The idea was hatched during the weekend following the killing of George Floyd, when the focal point of protesters in Atlanta was just outside the Hawks’ home arena. Conversations between Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce, the franchise’s CEO Steve Koonin and majority owner Antony Ressler quickly coalesced around an idea of turning the playing floor into a voting location.

“We were casually brainstorming since our whole world turned about what we can do internally as an organization,” Pierce said. “We were trying to figure out how we can take care of home first, and [Koonin] pitched the idea.”

After taking two weeks to examine the facility’s capacity to host both early and election day voting in both summer and fall, the Hawks brought the idea to the Fulton County Commission, which provides funding for the county’s registration and elections board.

“It took me about a nanosecond to understand what a big deal that would be for us here in Fulton County running this upcoming election, given the challenges that we had,” Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts said.

Polling sites in the Atlanta metropolitan area, particularly in predominately African American precincts, were beset by logistical problems during the primary election on June 9. Watching Georgians endure waits of several hours to vote further assured the Hawks their plan could bring efficacy to a system that lacked it.

“Making State Farm Arena the safest, most efficient and largest polling location in Georgia — and maybe the country — we thought was a really cool idea that helps Atlanta be a model for a great voting experience rather than what hasn’t, shall we say, been a model recently,” Pitts said.

Neither the Hawks nor Fulton County could offer a specific target for the number of voting machines they planned to house at State Farm Arena, though the Hawks said the expectation was several hundred. The building, which has an interior of 680,000 square feet, includes a practice floor, several clubs and dozens of suites, all of which can conceivably accommodate voters.

Much of that square footage will be used to account for the coronavirus. Voting machines that might typically be arranged just inches from one another will be set at least six feet apart. Lines to vote on the game court will begin at the portals in the main concourse and descend down the aisles of the lower bowl to the floor, with voters following social distancing practices. Given the size of the arena, many ancillary functions required on election day, like tabulating absentee ballots, will also be performed on site.

Ressler offered as a tongue-in-cheek suggestion that if the Hawks wanted to truly maximize turnout at the State Farm Arena location, the team would host an open court practice as voters filed into the building and cast their ballots. He was politely told that such a setup wasn’t practical. He nevertheless anticipates that Hawks players will be active in the get-out-the-vote effort in Fulton County.

The Hawks have volunteered to pick up the expenses for the voting facility, including compensation for 300 full-time State Farm Arena employees and several hundred who work part time. Vehicles with voters will not be charged for parking.

In addition to election day, State Farm Arena will also serve as one of 19 polling locations that will offer early voting for over a 19-day period prior to Election Day, in both the runoff and general elections.

“Adam Silver says that arenas should be town halls or public squares for the city they serve,” Koonin said. “This was something that was one of those ideas that was so obvious you asked, ‘Why hasn’t anyone done it before?'”

Pierce, who has played a lead role on the National Basketball Coaches Association’s committee on racial injustice and reform, plans to discuss the initiative on the weekly call of the NBA’s head coaches.

“The focal point tonight is what the coaches can do in Orlando to keep this conversation alive and use our voice and our platform in unity,” Pierce said. “But being able to address the group and show them this initiative was really not hard to process. We reached out to the county and they were on board. The next thing you know, we’re the first city to have an arena host a voting site. So I really want to encourage all the other 28 other coaches.”

Pierce added that while the 29th coach, Toronto’s Nick Nurse, can’t help develop a polling site at Scotiabank Arena, he has been helpful encouraging American expatriates in Canada to complete voter registration and obtain absentee ballots.

“When we saw what we saw on June 9, it was extremely clear that we have a real issue in the state of Georgia and especially here in Atlanta,” Pierce said. “And we felt we had an opportunity to do something special. It was encouraging that we were able to think outside of the box and speak this idea into existence.”

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Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie says he recently tested positive for coronavirus

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Brooklyn Nets star Spencer Dinwiddie has been diagnosed with coronavirus and is not sure he will be able to participate when the season resumes, he told The Athletic on Monday.

“Over the past few months, I have been diligent about protecting myself and others from COVID-19 by following all designated protocol and quarantining,” Dinwiddie said in a statement. “I was ready and prepared to rejoin my teammates. … I flew private to return to New York, passed multiple COVID-19 tests over my first several days in New York and was able to participate in a couple practices within the first week.

“Originally, we were supposed to be one of the teams to enter into the Orlando bubble early, but training camp got switched back to New York and unfortunately I am now positive. Given that I have experienced symptoms, including fever and chest tightness, it is unclear on whether or not I’ll be able to participate in Orlando.”

Dinwiddie says he will remain quarantined and reevaluate after 14 days.

The guard averaged 20.6 points, 6.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds for the 30-34 Nets, who were in seventh place in the East when the season was suspended. The Nets are one of the 22 NBA teams scheduled to resume games on July 30 in Orlando, Florida.

They will be without forward Wilson Chandler, who informed the team that he is opting out of playing, he told ESPN’s Malika Andrews on Sunday.

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