NBA postpones Chicago Bulls' next two games amid COVID-19 outbreak
Following a COVID-19 outbreak on the Chicago Bulls, the NBA announced on Monday it has postponed the team's next two games against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday and Toronto Raptors on Thursday.
The postponements mark the first of the 2021-22 campaign after 31 games were rescheduled last season.
Alize Johnson's positive case on Monday made him Chicago's 10th player to enter COVID-19 health and safety protocols. He joined Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Coby White, Javonte Green, Derrick Jones Jr., Ayo Dosunmu, Matt Thomas, Troy Brown Jr. and Stanley Johnson on the inactive list. The Bulls signed Stanley Johnson to a 10-day deal using a hardship exemption on Thursday, only to lose him on Saturday.
"We need a hardship for a hardship right now," Bulls coach Billy Donovan, whose staff also has multiple members in health and safety protocols, told reporters prior to Saturday's 118-92 loss to the Miami Heat.
Chicago also lost second-year forward Patrick Williams to wrist surgery in late October.
The Bulls have eight available players on the roster, including additional 10-day signee Alfonzo McKinnie and two-way players Tyler Cook and Devon Dotson. The NBA requires that many to field a team. Clearing Chicago's game schedule until Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers offers the Bulls a chance to navigate the outbreak.
Players must spend a minimum of 10 days in health and safety protocols or submit two negative tests prior to returning to the court. White and Green both surpass the 10-day window early this week, and DeRozan will fulfill the minimum quarantine window by Thursday. LaVine entered protocols on Sunday, meaning he will not be available for Chicago's next scheduled game unless he returns two negative tests before then.
The NBA did not announce dates for Chicago's rescheduled games against Detroit and Toronto.
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Ben Rohrbach is a staff writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach