Former Maryland basketball standout and current Sacramento Kings center Alex Len announced today that it has tested positive for COVID-19.
“I tested yesterday in Sacramento and it was found to be positive for COVID-19,” Len said in a statement on his Instagram story. “I want to thank the Sacramento Kings for their great care and the NBA for implementing protocols that allow me to catch him so early. Immediately I have gone into isolation and I look forward to being cleared and reunited with my teammates for our playoff push. “
Along with Len, teammates. Buddy Hield and Jabari Parker have also tested positive for the virus. Join a growing roster of NBA players to test positive recently on COVID-19, including Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic and base for Indiana Pacers Malcolm Brogdon.
As Len said in his statement, he plans to meet with his team and participate in the NBA restart in Orlando, which is scheduled to start on July 30. The Ukrainian native is the only former Terp who played in the league restart with Kevin Huerter and Bruno Fernando of the Atlanta Hawks and Jake Layman that the Minnesota Timberwolves team does not qualify.
Len started the season with Huerter and Fernando in Atlanta, but was sent to Sacramento on the trade deadline along with Parker in exchange for Dewayne Dedmon and two second-round teams (2020 and 2021).
After the trade, Len was a solid role player in all nine games he played for the Kings. He averaged 6.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in 16.7 minutes per game with Sacramento and 8.3 points, six rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game in 18.3 minutes per game on the season.
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The Kings are currently on the outside looking into the playoffs while tied for ninth place in the Western Conference with the Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans Pelicans. The trio of teams is every 3.5 games behind the eighth playoff spot, which currently belongs to the Memphis Grizzlies.
With the new playoff rules set for this season, Len’s Kings will need to be within four games of the eighth seed to force a play-in tournament for last place in the playoffs. If the Kings qualified for the playoff tournament for the eighth seed, they would have to beat the eighth seed twice to steal the spot and make the playoffs.
In Maryland, Len averaged 9.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in just 24.5 minutes per game. He was selected fifth in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns, where he spent the first five seasons of his career. He then signed with the Atlanta Hawks as an unrestricted free agent two seasons ago and averaged double-digit points (11.1) for the first time in the 2018-19 season.