Kevin Huerter enters protocols; six Hawks players out because of COVID-19

Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (3) moves the ball against the Orlando Magic during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Credit: AP

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Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (3) moves the ball against the Orlando Magic during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Credit: AP

Kevin Huerter entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols ahead of Wednesday’s home game vs. the Magic, becoming the sixth Hawks player to enter protocols.

He joins Trae Young, Clint Capela, Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.

The Hawks also are missing De’Andre Hunter (right wrist injury recovery) and Solomon Hill (right hamstring tear) because of injury, with Bogdan Bogdanovic (right ankle sprain) probable for Wednesday’s game. Available to play are John Collins, Gorgui Dieng, Onyeka Okongwu, Cam Reddish and Delon Wright, plus three players who were recalled from the G League (Jalen Johnson, Sharife Cooper, Skylar Mays) and Lance Stephenson and Malcolm Hill, added via the 10-day hardship exception.

“We have to adjust to it, and get our guys ready to go,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. “... That’s what we talked about this morning, we can’t allow this to be a distraction. It is, but we’ve got to get past that. The fact that we had, what, three guys today test positive and was sent home and was put into protocol, and all the sudden, you think you have a guy available and a result comes back and he goes into protocols.

“It’s an adjustment that we have to make, we can’t allow this to be a distraction. We have a game to play tonight. We have to come out with that energy and that effort we’ve been talking about, no matter who is in uniform. We have to play this game harder than we’ve played here lately. We’ve got to execute better, even though we’ve got a few new faces that will be out on the floor.”

For players to rejoin the team, they must test negative twice, 24 hours apart.

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