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NBA World Reacts To Thursday's James Harden News

James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets warms up

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 16: James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets warms up before the first half against the Orlando Magic at Barclays Center on January 16, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. This is his first game with the Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The Brooklyn Nets have been decimated by COVID-19 these past few weeks, but finally got some positive news on the health front on Thursday.

Head coach Steve Nash announced this morning that James Harden has cleared the league's health and safety protocols. He'll now be eligible to play in the Nets next game, whenever that may be.

Harden wasn't the only player in Brooklyn to get out of protocols on Thursday. Veteran forward Paul Millsap and guard Jevon Carter also rejoined the team this morning.

Although the Nets got three players back on Thursday, the team placed three others into protocols this morning. Rookies Cam Thomas, David Duke and Kessler Edwards were ruled out because of COVID-19 issues by Nash at the same time Harden returned.

As a result, the NBA world recognized that the Nets still have some logistics to figure out if they hope to get back on the court anytime soon.

Harden hasn't played since Dec. 10 against the Atlanta Hawks and has missed three games after testing positive for COVID-19. Brooklyn managed to win two of those three contests thanks to the heroic efforts of Kevin Durant and a number of solid contributions from role players.

However, Durant entered the league's health and safety protocols recently and the Nets have subsequently had their last three games postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests. Brooklyn is scheduled to be back in action on Christmas Day against the Los Angeles Lakers, but that contest is up in the air with the virus still affecting both teams.

The league will have to make a decision one way or the other soon with the matchup just over 48 hours away.