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Will the Bulls have games postponed? All-Star Zach LaVine joins eight teammates in COVID-19 protocols



The Chicago Bulls depth chart is thinning out quickly, as nine players total have entered the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols over the past couple of weeks.

On Sunday morning, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Zach Lavine and Troy Brown Jr. have joined their seven other teammates in the health and safety protocols, bringing the Bulls to just nine players on the active roster.

The league’s rulebook states that a team must have at least eight players available to prevent games from being postponed, and the Bulls are now toeing that line.

For more on Chicago’s health and safety protocols situation and their upcoming schedule that may be in jeopardy, we have you covered below.

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Will the Bulls have games postponed due to COVID-19 protocols?

As of Sunday, Dec. 12, the answer is no, because the Bulls do have nine active players on their roster. But if one more player enters the health and safety protocols or comes down with an injury, they may be in jeopardy.

Because of the NBA’s new hardship exemption, teams are given temporary roster spots that allow them to exceed the 15-man roster limit in times of need (multiple players being out because of injury or illness).

MORE: What is the NBA’s hardship exemption? Rule helps teams dealing with COVID-19, injuries

That means Chicago can sign available players to keep it above the roster minimum to play, but it has already had tough luck with that situation, too. On Dec. 9, the Bulls signed Stanley Johnson under a hardship exemption deal, but just two days later, on Dec. 11, the forward also entered the league’s health and safety protocols.

Take a look at all of the Bulls players in protocols, along with the date they entered. (Note: the league’s rules state a player must miss a minimum of 10 days or produce two negative tests in a 24-hour period to return to play).

Bulls players in COVID-19 protocols
Player Date entered
Troy Brown Jr. Dec. 12
DeMar DeRozan Dec. 6
Ayo Dosunmu Dec. 11
Javonte Green Dec. 3
Stanley Johnson Dec. 11
Derrick Jones Jr. Dec. 9
Zach LaVine Dec. 12
Matt Thomas Dec. 8
Coby White* Dec. 1

*White has been in health and safety protocols since Dec. 1, but on Sunday, Wojnarowski reported he has returned to practice. He has yet to be cleared to play.

So who is still active for Chicago, you ask?

  • Guards: Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Devon Dotson (two-way contract)
  • Forwards: Alize Johnson, Alfonzo McKinnie (hardship), Tyler Cook (two-way contract)
  • Centers: Nikola Vucevic, Tony Bradley, Marko Simonovic

The Bulls have three games next week and six games over the next two weeks. You can find their upcoming schedule below.

Bulls schedule 2021-22

 
Date Opponent Time (ET)
Tue, Dec. 14 vs. Pistons 8:00 PM
Thurs, Dec. 16 at Raptors 7:30 PM
Sun, Dec. 19 vs. Lakers 3:30 PM
Mon, Dec. 20 vs. Rockets 8:00 PM
Wed, Dec. 22 vs. Raptors 8:00 PM
Sun, Dec. 26 vs. Pacers 8:00 PM



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