Russell Westbrook and Avery Bradley entered NBA health and safety protocols according to multiple reports. The Lakers have five players in the protocol including Dwight Howard, Talen Horton-Tucker, and Malik Monk.
The Lakers have five players in Covid protocols now, including Westbrook, Bradley, Malik Monk, Dwight Howard and Talen Horton-Tucker. The Lakers play Minnesota on Friday and Chicago on Sunday.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 16, 2021
Westbrook and Bradley stayed behind in Dallas while their teammates fly to Minnesota ahead of their matchup against the Timberwolves on Friday. The Lakers signed Isaiah Thomas on a 10-day contract ahead of news coming out about Westbrook and Bradley entering protocols.
Per insider Adrian Wojnarowski, 63 players and three staffers have entered into COVID-19 protocols, with 47 coming in December so far. The League and the players union had talks Wednesday about increasing testing for vaccinated players and staff after the surge of positive results has impacted not just the NBA but the NFL too.
The Lakers already delayed their afternoon contest with the Bulls to 7 p.m. CT but that game may now be in jeopardy of postponement as well. Their marque Christmas day matchup with the Nets may be in jeopardy as Brooklyn is dealing with an outbreak within their team and are missing seven players including James Harden and LaMarcus Aldridge who are in protocols.
League rules state that players must register two negative tests in 24 hours in order to clear virus protocols.