Austin Reaves and Kent Bazemore have tested out of the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the Los Angeles Lakers announced on Wednesday morning. They will not suit up for the Lakers’ game against the Grizzlies on Wednesday night, however, as they will begin to ramp up for Friday night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Reaves has missed the last six games while in the protocols while Bazemore is coming off a five-game break.
As things currently stand, the only remaining Lakers in protocols are head coach Frank Vogel, forward Trevor Ariza and Rajon Rondo. With the NBA’s new rule changes to shorten quarantine times though, all will likely be able to return in the coming days as well.
The NBA made a decision to reduce the quarantine period for vaccinated players and coaches from 10 days to six — if they are found to be no longer at risk of being infectious.
Over 200 players entered the COVID-19 protocols in December.
The Lakers had lost five straight games since the COVID-19 outbreak hit the team, sidelining nearly half of the roster along the way. They did get back in the win column on Tuesday, however, by beating the Houston Rockets on the road.
L.A. has brought in five players during that time to cushion the outbreak’s impact: Isaiah Thomas, Jemerrio Jones, Mason Jones, Stanley Johnson, and Darren Collison.
Thomas not returning to Lakers after 10-day contract ends
The Lakers signed four of the five players to 10-day contracts, using the Hardship Exception provision. Thomas was the first one to arrive in L.A., making his season debut in the 110-92 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
But after playing in four games for the Lakers, the veteran guard reportedly won’t return to the team. Thomas averaged 9.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in his second stint with L.A.
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