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Coronavirus: Magic player tests positive, Fultz delayed entering NBA bubble

By Jon Palmieri

Florida, July 8: An unidentified Orlando Magic player tested positive for coronavirus, while guard Markelle Fultz did not travel with the team for the NBA's season restart due to a personal issue.

The 2019-20 NBA season is set to resume via a 22-team format at the Disney World complex in Orlando, Florida on July 30 after the campaign was halted due to the COVID-19 crisis in March.

Magic general manger Jeff Weltman said an unnamed player that contracted coronavirus during the NBA's final round of mandatory testing on June 23 is going through the league's quarantine protocols.

"That player, I'm not at liberty to speak about it, is following protocol and we're hoping he can join us shortly," Weltman said on a videoconference call on Tuesday (July 7).

Fultz, meanwhile, was excused from the Magic and is expected to join the team when he can while adhering to the NBA's re-entry rules.

Former number one pick Fultz ranked fifth on the Magic with an average of 12.1 points and first with 5.2 assists per game when the NBA season was suspended on March 12.

No team have a shorter distance to travel than the Magic for the season restart at the Walt Disney complex in Orlando, where the franchise will recommence their campaign against the Brooklyn Nets on July 31.

"I think guys are excited," Weltman said. "They are optimistic. As the details become more apparent to everyone, I think the comfort level with the ability to maintain the health and safety of everyone involved has risen to a very high level.

"Today [Tuesday] everyone was in good spirits and they are looking forward to getting back to work."

The Magic are eighth in the Eastern Conference, half a game behind the Nets and five and a half games ahead of the ninth-placed Washington Wizards.

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Story first published: Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 9:10 [IST]
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