Which NBA teams have been hit hardest by COVID? The numbers behind the league's omicron spike

Which NBA teams have been hit the hardest by the league's COVID-19 health and safety protocols?

With nearly all the NBA's players vaccinated and a majority boosted, the league has continued playing through widespread COVID-19 transmission across its rosters thanks to an influx of players signed to 10-day hardship contracts. More than 100 players in total have signed using hardship exceptions, helping make up for nearly 250 players who have entered health and safety protocols over the past three weeks.

That approach has minimized disruptions to the NBA schedule at the expense of disruptions to the rosters available from night to night. Those absences haven't hit every team equally, as some have had to play with makeshift squads while a few others have experienced relatively modest impact to date.

Now that the worst of the NBA's omicron-related outbreak appears to be past -- the number of players in health and safety protocols dropped below triple digits Sunday for the first time since Dec. 18 -- we can start to take stock of the impact so far.

Note: Let's quickly explain the methodology here. Based on games players have missed either in protocols or due to subsequent reconditioning through Sunday, "minutes lost" is calculated using players' minutes per game multiplied by games missed. Wins above replacement player lost (WARP lost) is calculated using players' per-game rating in my player metric multiplied by games missed. One caveat: Players already sidelined by injury, such as Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz, don't count as lost if they are in the protocols because they would be unavailable either way.

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