CHICAGO — Coaches Frank Vogel and wing Kent Bezemore are now in the NBA’s COVID-19 protocol, with the Lakers’ roster down to just 10 healthy players before their game with the Chicago Bulls on Sunday afternoon with two front-of-the-bench coaches. without reduced. ,
Assuming the Lakers can play games as scheduled, chief assistant David Fizdale will assume head coaching duties. It is less clear what can be done about the battered roster as almost half of the players are unavailable and on track for a prolonged quarantine.
Kendrick Nunn tested out of team protocol, but he still hasn’t recovered from a bone injury in his right knee that has kept him out throughout the season.
The announcement came on Sunday morning as it appeared that the NBA was approaching a breaking point: The significant number of positive tests hit rosters not only for the Lakers, but in Sacramento, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Golden State, Philadelphia and many other markets. has been destroyed.
Many teams could fail to meet at least eight healthy players on Sunday evening – potentially even the Lakers themselves if another positive test emerges.
List of players in protocol: Bezmore, Talen-Horton Tucker, Dwight Howard, Malik Monk, Avery Bradley, and Austin Reeves. The Lakers were already without assistant Phil Handy on the bench, and they also had to leave team broadcasters Bill McDonald and Mychal Thompson during the road trip. As of Sunday morning, McDonald’s had tested out of protocol.
The team also learned on Saturday that Anthony Davis is likely to miss at least four weeks with a left MCL sprain, meaning his depth is further hampered. Trevor Ariza was available to suit in Minnesota but the team chose not to play him to ease him into first action of the season; It is not clear whether the lack of depth changes that thinking.
While the Lakers can still (for now) field all-star-level players in LeBron James and Russell Westbrook, they have to up their rotation by calling in and signing two-way contract players Chandy Brown and Jay Huff from the G League. Had to supplement. Isaiah Thomas to a 10-day contract via hardship waiver.
Based on their outbreak, the Lakers are subject to at least two coronavirus tests a day, which players and staff have deemed disappointing. By the nature of their three-game road trip, the team is spread across the country in quarantine in Los Angeles, Dallas, Minnesota and now Chicago.
The Lakers have declined to share other potentially sensitive health information about those implicated in the protocol such as who, or how many, are experiencing symptoms. The entire playing roster and traveling staff are believed to be vaccinated.