MIAMI – Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. has tested positive for COVID-19, Local 10 Sports has confirmed with a source.
The news was first reported by the Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald.
The NBA began testing players for the coronavirus this week as it prepares to return to play late next month at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex near Orlando.
Jones, the reigning NBA slam dunk contest champion, still plans to play next month, according to the Associated Press.
The team has yet to comment.
Jones, 23, is averaging a career-best 8.9 points and 4.2 rebounds this season and enters free agency after this year.
A number of other NBA players have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 this week, including the Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic, Indiana Pacers’ Malcolm Brogdon and Sacramento Kings’ Buddy Hield, Jabari Parker and Alex Len.
League officials have expected that positive tests would be inevitable, and believed that starting a testing regimen now — roughly five weeks before games begin at Disney — will give players with positive results time to recover and get back with their teams before games start July 30.
The season resumes with 22 teams heading to Central Florida to conclude the regular season and then playoffs. The Heat have already clinched a playoff berth.
The NBA has been on hiatus since March 11, when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.
Local 10 Sports Director Will Manso and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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