COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in the NBA.
Fresh off a thrilling victory in Dallas Wednesday night (Dec.15) that saw the Los Angeles Lakers win off a clutch shot from rookie Austin Reaves, the team was dealt a big blow. ESPN reports that guards Russell Westbrook and Avery Bradley have entered into the league’s health and safety protocols. This would be the second time Westbrook has tested positive for the virus unless he can produce two negative PCR tests.
To counter the huge losses at the guard position, the Lakers plan to sign Isaiah Thomas to a 10-day contract on Friday if the league grants them a hardship exemption, sources told the sports network. The decision comes off Thomas’ impressive G League debut, where he dropped 42 points.
Westbrook and Bradley are now entering health and safety protocols, which brings the number of players on the Lakers who tested positive for COVID-19 to five. They join Dwight Howard, Talen Horton-Tucker, and Malik Monk. It remains to be seen if other players will join them. Both Westbrook and Bradley played in last night’s game that went into overtime. Westbrook finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists in 42 minutes in Dallas.
LeBron James had a brief stint in the league’s health and safety protocols but was allowed to resume playing after producing two negative PCR tests within 24 hours.
NBA rules dictate if a player tests positive for COVID-19, they must isolate themselves away from the team for a minimum of 10 days without any physical contact. Once the ten days have passed, the player must undergo cardiac screening and reconditioning to be cleared to return to play.
This could be huge for Thomas following his impressive G League debut, which left many wondering why he isn’t in the league right now? Well, it looks like he will get his chance to play in the NBA again, thanks to the NBA’s recent struggle with COVID-19. Still, an opportunity is an opportunity. We are sure Thomas will take full of advantage of it to impress the Lakers or another team in desperate need of productive guard play.
Photo: Tom Pennington / Getty
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