ORLANDO — There’s quite a bit of pregame news for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s final scrimmage in the bubble.
Billy Donovan met with the media and revealed the following:
- Chris Paul is out (rest)
- Andre Roberson will slide into the starting lineup alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort, Danilo Gallinari and Steven Adams — Dennis Schroder will come off the bench
- Nerlens Noel is OUT due to missing a mandatory COVID-19 test
- Terrance Ferguson is OUT (leg contusion). Donovan added that he feels the injury isn’t serious and just wants Ferguson to rest an extra day prior to the Thunder’s first game on Saturday
- Abdel Nader has passed the concussion protocol and is available to play today
Donovan said that he felt Roberson needed more minutes against starter level players to get a better look at his rehab and return after missing over two years of play. Roberson played 12 minutes and 15 minutes in Oklahoma CIty’s first two scrimmages respectively. Both performances came in the second half against mostly reserve opponents.
“What’s good for him is his versatility to guard different types of players,” Donovan said. “Andre getting his feet wet against starters gives us a chance to see where he’s at.”
Noel joins Kristaps Porzingis as NBA players who have been forced into a day-long quarantine after missing a COVID-19 test. The NBA schedules every player’s mandatory test with a 45-minute window each day.
“Nerlens is extremely remorseful,” Donovan said. “Being totally honest, there’s times I forget to take the test and I think, ‘Oh my God, I have to run down there.’ These days all kind of run together and some things can slip your mind.”
Brady Trantham has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder for The Franchise since April 2018 and for Thunder Digest since 2016. He hosts a Thunder podcast with Madysson Morris “OKC-82 Podcast” which can be found on all podcast outlets, and is a co-host on the Franchise Thunder Insider’s Show on Saturdays from 10-12. Brady is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma class of 2014. Follow him on Twitter @BradyDoesSports