Zach Lavine is reportedly 9th Bulls player to land in NBA's COVID-19 protocols

·2 min read

The Chicago Bulls have placed Zach LaVine and Troy Brown Jr. in the NBA's health and safety protocols, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and NBC Chicago's K.C. Johnson report.

The Bulls now have nine players in the league's health and safety protocols ahead of Tuesday's game against the Detroit Pistons. As of Sunday, they have nine eligible players on their roster thanks to signing replacements, leaving them one above the league minimum of eight eligible players to play an NBA game.

DeMar DeRozan, Coby White, Matt Thomas, Javonte Green, Derrick Jones Jr, Ayo Dosunmu and Stanley Johnson are also in COVID-19 protocols. Johnson joined the team on a 10-day contract last week as a hardship signing amid the outbreak. Alfonzo McKinnie also signed with a hardship exception.

Nikola Vucevic missed seven games in COVID-19 protocols before returning to the team on Nov. 24.

"We need a hardship for a hardship right now," head coach Billy Donovan told reporters ahead of Saturday's 118-92 loss to the Miami Heat.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 26: Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls looks on during the second quarter against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center on November 26, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Zach Lavine has joined eight Bulls teammates in COVID-19 protocols. (Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

The Bulls have stated that their entire roster is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. They can continue to sign players with hardship exceptions if needed. Players who land in protocols are required to isolate for at least 10 days or produce two negative PCR tests in a 24-hour period.

Donovan said on Saturday that "a lot" of players in protocols aren't symptomatic.

"Maybe some of it's because of the vaccination, we've got a lot of guys sitting at home with no symptoms right now," Donovan told reporters. "That's obviously a good thing, too, because I think when guys have gone through a real difficulty of getting really, really sick, it's really made it a lot harder for them coming back.

"We do have some guys that have felt under the weather, we have guys that have very, very mild symptoms, and some guys that just don't have any."

The team also lost Alex Caruso to a hamstring injury for two games before he returned to the lineup on Saturday against the Heat. Patrick Williams is also sidelined with a long-term wrist injury. The Bulls entered Sunday in third place in the Eastern Conference at 17-10.