Bulls coach Billy Donovan is all for expanding rosters
The NBA reportedly is looking to add bodies to each roster in hopes of slowing down the number of games being postponed by COVID-19.
The number of players in the NBA’s health and safety protocol for the coronavirus grew Friday, as did the number of postponed games. That’s why, according to a report, the NBA is looking to expand current roster limits, with player approval said to be the final hurdle to making it happen.
The hope is it makes life easier for teams as coronavirus cases continue to climb. Bulls coach Billy Donovan is all for the extra bodies, although so far it has been easier said than done.
“It’s probably a good idea just because you’ve had a postponement of games, and the league is probably looking at ways to prevent that from happening by having enough players,” Donovan said. “But I think the other trick to it, for the players not in the rotation, [is] you’re playing nine or 10 guys, and [then] you’ve [expanded] from 10 to 16 or 17, however many players they want to add. How are you going to keep those guys ready and in shape if something happens? Because on the road, that’s when a lot of the restrictions become much more challenging in terms of what these guys can and can’t do.
“The days of saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to find a college gym’ or ‘We’re going to find the other team’s practice facility,’ ‘We’ll use the arena to get guys extra work’ — that’s kind of gone [away]. So you’ve got to find ways to get guys ready the best you can. ... [You’ve] got to think, ‘OK, this guy can play, he’s available, we’ve got some guys out, but what has this guy done physically for the last week or 10 days to keep himself ready to absorb the amount of minutes he may need to play?’ ”
For just that reason, Donovan and his staff decided to leave guard Devon Dotson and forward Luke Kornet in Chicago for this two-game road trip, so the two could get workouts in and maintain their conditioning.
“It’s unusual times,” Donovan said. “We’re having to do a lot of things a lot differently. It’s just kind of the way it is. . . . With Luke and Devon, if something else happens to our team, those guys could very easily be in the mix, and we have to keep them ready.”
Veteran guard/forward Garrett Temple spent last season with the Nets and naturally was asked about this week’s huge James Harden trade involving four teams and what effects it will have across the league.
“I think it’s going to be interesting,” Temple said. “I think Jarrett Allen [headed to the Clippers] has shown what he’s able to do for an NBA team, so that’s going to be a big loss for [the Nets]. Caris [LeVert] is a guy that [is] a really good NBA player, so him going [from the Nets] to Indiana, I think that’s going to help their team. Brooklyn has a lot of firepower, man, a lot of firepower now. So it’s going to be interesting how [coach] Steve [Nash] is able to get those guys to mesh and see how they use the guys around them. It’s an interesting trade. And the basketball world? We’ll all see what happens.”