The Houston Rockets acquired two Kentucky Wildcats this offseason, and it looking more and more likely that they’ll be without both of them as they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in their season opener tonight.
John Wall, who was traded to the Rockets for Russell Westbrook, and DeMarcus Cousins, who signed after seeing his market tank following several big-time injuries, are expected to sit due to “coronavirus contract tracing,” per The Athletic and Stadium reporter Shams Charania.
Several Houston Rockets, including John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and possibly more, are expected to miss tonight's season opener vs. OKC due to coronavirus contact tracing, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 23, 2020
Thankfully, both players have tested negative for the virus, per Woj.
Rockets C DeMarcus Cousins has tested negative for the coronavirus, source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 23, 2020
Houston guard John Wall has tested negative for the coronavirus, but is among a group of Rockets sent home today because of a positive test of another teammate, sources tell ESPN. That other player is getting tested again to confirm he's contracted the coronavirus, sources said.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 23, 2020
It’s discouraging news as this would be Wall’s first regular season in since the 2018-2019 season. Wall hasn’t played over 45 games in a season since earning his fourth All-Star selection during the 2016-2017 season.
Cousins is much of the same as he tried to regain his dominance in Golden State during the 2018-2019 season and then had another season-ending injury after joining the Lakers last season.
Two of the most dominant Wildcats of all time have had their career’s derailed by injuries. Thankfully, they’ve looked good in the preseason with Wall topping 16 points per game on 47.5 percent from the field.
Now, the situation in Houston isn’t necessarily one which will give them much leeway.
The team is led by James Harden who wants out of town after the team’s general manager and head coach both went elsewhere. Harden isn’t happy, and that may be what’s best for the two Wildcats.
That said, for now, the dynamic duo won’t be making their season debut against the Thunder, but fans should be able to get excited for the Rockets next game on December 26 as they hopefully will be in the lineup against the Portland Trail Blazers.