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NBA roster expansion a hot topic among team executives

An NBA logo is displayed in a store in New York City.
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There are factions of executives around the NBA who believe an expanded player pool could help the league navigate a wave of virus-related postponements.

The league has postponed three games in the last two days while a fourth had to be played with only seven healthy players among the mandated minimum of eight on the team’s active list.

Some team executives, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter publicly, hope to discuss the possibility of expanding rosters as a way to stem postponements. Teams can currently have 17 players — 15 on regular deals and two players on two-way contracts, which allows a player to participate 45 days with the NBA team and the rest of the season with its G League affiliate.

The NBA said it would be meeting with the players association later Monday to discuss modification of the league’s health and safety protocols. The NBA is also reportedly meeting Monday with general managers.

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Lakers coach Frank Vogel was asked about the possibility before his team’s game on Sunday.

“That’s tough to say. The rosters are already at 17,” Vogel said. “I think and hope that situations where you get under eight are unique. And I leave that decision up to the league, whether they feel like expanding rosters makes sense.”

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The postponements around the NBA should serve as a reminder for his team, Vogel said.

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“What’s happened the last few days just drives the point home how important it is for all of us to follow the protocols to a T,” Vogel said. “Because if you’re really doing that, it really minimizes risk of spread of the virus, and it’s what we continue to emphasize with our guys.


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