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Dwight Howard, Malik Monk join Talen Horton-Tucker among Lakers in health and safety protocols

The Lakers now have three players in the NBA’s health and safety protocols ahead of their Wednesday game against the Dallas Mavericks, with Dwight Howard, Talen Horton-Tucker and Malik Monk all being put into isolation.

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Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

Talen Horton-Tucker already tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday morning, but despite the Lakers canceling their previously scheduled practice shortly thereafter, he’s not going to be the only player on the team that is put into isolation. On Tuesday evening, the Lakers announced that Malik Monk and Dwight Howard would also miss Wednesday’s game vs. the Dallas Mavericks after being put into the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

Monk, at the very least, we know had traveled to Dallas with the team, as the Lakers posted a photo of him getting off the team plane when they landed.

Howard did not travel with the Lakers — and, obviously, neither did Horton-Tucker — and the team is working on arranging travel to send Monk back to Los Angeles to isolate.

On Wednesday, the Lakers also announced that assistant coach Phil Handy had also entered health and safety protocols as did Bill Macdonald, Spectrum’s play-by-play broadcaster for the Lakers games.

It is currently unknown if positive tests or close contact led to any of Monk, Howard, Handy or Macdonald — all part of the Lakers traveling party — being placed into the protocols. The Lakers — just like other NBA teams — normally do not specify in these situations, leaving it up to the players if they want to reveal themselves if they tested positive or not.

However, the league’s protocols dictate that only unvaccinated players can be placed into isolation for close contacts with someone who tests positive, and that vaccinated players can only be sidelined for positive tests. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka previously said that the entire roster would be vaccinated by opening night of the 2021-22 season.

The Lakers will not be doing a shootaround in Dallas on Wednesday, presumably to avoid the risk of further spread as they continue to test.

With Howard, Monk and Horton-Tucker sidelined, and Anthony Davis still questionable to play with knee soreness that has caused him to miss the last two games, the Lakers could be down to as few as 11 players against the Mavericks on Wednesday.

This developing story may be updated with more information.

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