*Update: Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have been ruled out for the 2021 NBA All-Star game.
Two Philadelphia 76ers stars, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were set to play in Sunday night's 2021 NBA All-Star game in Atlanta, Georgia. However, that might not be the case anymore as the two veterans have been reportedly linked to possible COVID-19 contact tracing.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Embiid and Simmons are "potentially ineligible" for the game on Sunday night as they were exposed to a "likely" positive COVID-19 test recently.
Per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the test results are inconclusive and the league is waiting on further results before ultimately making a decision on their availability for Sunday night's game.
As the NBA awaits the results, Simmons and Embiid remain quarantined in Atlanta. According to several reports, the two Sixers stars have not been in contact with any other NBA players down in Atlanta since arriving via private flights on Saturday.
While the situation is certainly disappointing, the league can't risk having two players appear in the game amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As we know, the NBA has been quite strict with contact tracing this season -- and they can't ease up on the restrictions for a game that doesn't count for anything.
Simmons and Embiid aren't guaranteed to be ruled out on Sunday night, but their head coach Doc Rivers mentioned on Sunday morning that he believes the chances of them playing are slim.