Lou Williams is latest Clippers player to leave Orlando bubble

The Clippers are down to 10 players after reserve guard Lou Williams departed the NBA bubble in Orlando, Fla., for excused personal reasons, a person with knowledge of the situation said Friday.

Williams, the team’s leading scorer in its scrimmage Wednesday, is expected to return soon, the person added. The Clippers play the second of their three scrimmages Saturday against Washington and their first official game is July 30 against the Lakers.

Like center Montrezl Harrell and guard Patrick Beverley, both of whom left within the last week because of emergency family matters, Williams will be required to clear the league’s quarantine upon his return to the Walt Disney World campus near Orlando., where the league is holding its season restart amid the COVID-19 pandemic. That process could last between four and 10 days, depending on whether Williams has returned negative tests for every day that he has been gone.

Starting center Ivica Zubac and guard Landry Shamet also have not been with the Clippers in Orlando. Shamet is recovering from a coronavirus infection, according to his postings on social media.

The Clippers are hopeful to have their full 15-man roster by the time the postseason begins Aug. 17 but it’s already known that their playoff roster will not remain intact the entire time because starting forward Marcus Morris revealed Friday that he plans to depart for the birth of his second son, who is due in September.

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Morris said.

Depending on the timing of the birth and how far the Clippers advance, Morris could miss either a portion of the postseason’s second round or the Western Conference finals.

“I do think it always hurts your team when you don’t have all your guys,” coach Doc Rivers said following Friday’s practice. “Today we have a practice, a lot of our guys aren’t there. That’s never healthy for your team, especially a team that really hasn’t been together.

“We’re a new team. We had Kawhi [Leonard] and PG miss training camp. [Paul George] missed the first, what, 16 games. Then Kawhi missed games. Lou. This year so far we really have not caught a great break as far as being able to work together.

“I’ve got to say, this team so far, they keep impressing me as well with their ability to figure out a way of playing together even though we don’t have a lot of minutes on the floor playing together.”

The NBA allowed teams to bring up to 17 players to Orlando, two more than usual during the season, as a buffer for rosters that could be affected by positive tests or departures.

The Clippers chose to bring 15, leaving rookie forward-center Mfiondu Kabengele and two-way center Johnathan Motley off their official Orlando roster. A report Thursday from the NBA’s G League stating that Motley was en route to rejoining the team was incorrect, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

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