The Lakers announced on Sunday afternoon that guard Rajon Rondo had entered health and safety protocols. Rondo becomes the fourth player currently in protocols, joining Austin Reaves, Kent Bazemore and Trevor Ariza. Head coach Frank Vogel also remains in health and safety protocols, as are sideline reporter Michael Trudell and radio broadcaster Mychal Thompson.
Rondo was available but did not play in the team’s Christmas Day loss to the Brooklyn Nets. After being called into action over the last week-and-a-half due to the team’s COVID outbreak, Rondo received his first DNP-CD in 10 days on Saturday with the team nearing full health once more.
By entering protocols, Rondo will force the Lakers into a decision involving Isaiah Thomas. The first replacement player signed by the team, Thomas also received a DNP-CD on Saturday. Sunday marks the final day of his 10-day contract. With Rondo entering protocols, the Lakers could sign one more replacement player.
Theoretically, the team could re-sign Thomas, a like-for-like player in terms of position. However, with Thomas outside the rotation looking in alongside Rondo, it’ll be an interesting decision for the Lakers to weigh as to whether to bring back Thomas.
The team is not required to re-sign one more replacement player. Presently, Stanley Johnson, Darren Collison and Jemerrio Jones all are signed as replacement players with the former two playing on Saturday. Collison’s presence lessens the need for a team to sign a point guard as a replacement player, if they choose to sign one.
(Update: the Lakers have, indeed, reportedly opted not to bring back Isaiah Thomas for a second 10-day contract)
Over the next 10 days, the Lakers are slated to have five games, the first two of those on the road against Houston and Memphis and the latter three at home against the Portland Trail Blazers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings.