Kendrick Nunn and Austin Reaves have both entered health and safety protocols and will be put into isolation, the Los Angeles Lakers announced on Friday. Reaves traveled with the team to Minnesota for their Friday game against the Timberwolves, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic.
They join Avery Bradley, Dwight Howard, Talen Horton-Tucker and the recently returned to protocols Malik Monk among Lakers players in isolation as the team continues to deal with an ongoing outbreak among the traveling party that has also sidelined assistant coach Phil Handy, TV play-by-play man Bill Macdonald and radio analyst (and former Laker) Mychal Thompson.
Kyle Goon of the O.C. Register reports Handy is expected to miss the rest of the team’s road trip at the very least.
Currently available for the Lakers tonight: LeBron, AD, Westbrook, Ellington, Anthony, Jordan, Bazemore, Rondo, 10-day call-up Thomas, and 2-way players Chaundee Brown and Jay Huff.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) December 17, 2021
We don’t know for certain if Nunn or Reaves tested positive, but the league’s protocols indicate that only unvaccinated players are placed into health and safety protocols for close contact with another individual who tests positive. For vaccinated players, a stint in health and safety protocols is only necessary if they test positive themselves. Prior to the season, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said all of the Lakers would be fully vaccinated by the opening night of the season.
In positive news, Russell Westbrook was cleared to return to the lineup less than 24 hours after initially entering the health and safety protocols, and they have an emergency replacement player on the way in the form of newly arrived NBA veteran Isaiah Thomas, who the team just signed to a 10-day contract. And — for the first time this season — veteran forward Trevor Ariza will be available, even if the team will only use him as an emergency player.
On the other side of the court, the Wolves, like most NBA teams, are also dealing with COVID issues of their own.
Taurean Prince has also been added to the list of Minnesota players entered into the league’s protocols. https://t.co/7YukxFpFZ2— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 17, 2021
The Lakers and Wolves will tip-off this somehow nationally televised game at 7 p.m. PT.
This developing story may be updated with more information.