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Alex Len becomes third King to test positive for coronavirus

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Len, Jabari Parker, and Buddy Hield have all contracted the novel coronavirus.

Philadelphia 76ers v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Shortly after the announcements that Jabari Parker and Buddy Hield have tested positive for the coronavirus, The Athletic reported that a third Kings player also had a positive test: Alex Len.

The 27-year-old center released a personal statement in which he announced his intentions to join the team after his quarantine period ends and he is cleared for basketball activity. Parker also hopes to be with the Kings in Orlando, and presumably, Hield has the same plan.

When teams began coronavirus testing earlier this week, it was expected that there would be several players who tested positive. That was the purpose of beginning testing about three weeks before the start of training camp so that players and other staff members would have an opportunity to recover from the virus and theoretically pass the contagious stage before convening on the NBA campus.

Nevertheless, it is still concerning to see three players on the same roster testing positive, particularly at a time when Orlando is seeing spikes in positive test rates. A growing minority of NBA executives is expressing doubts about the bubble plan as the restart approaches.

If the season does proceed as scheduled, Len would be a difficult player for the Kings to replace. He made a pronounced impact on the defensive end and has had the team’s best plus-minus (by a large margin) since arriving from the Hawks in the Dewayne Dedmon trade. The Kings are deep at center, and could have another option available depending on Marvin Bagley III’s health, but Len provides a physical presence unique among Sacramento’s bigs.

Ideally, that isn’t an issue for the Kings and Len recovers in time to play out the season. We wish all three players the best in returning to full health.