The Los Angeles Lakers announced that rookie guard Austin Reaves has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols and has been ruled out of Friday night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Reaves joins other Lakers players in the health and safety protocols, including Talen Horton-Tucker, Malik Monk, Dwight Howard and Avery Bradley.
Russell Westbrook also was for a day, although it was announced on Friday that he cleared protocols and will be available to play against the Timberwolves.
Considering how short the Lakers are on guard depth, losing Reaves is obviously unfortunate news as they look to extend their winning streak to four games. Reaves was the hero of the Lakers’ overtime win over the Dallas Mavericks, shooting 5-for-6 from three, including the game-winner.
With all of these players out, the Lakers were at least able to bring in some reinforcements as they announced that they signed Isaiah Thomas to a 10-day contract via the NBA’s Hardship Exception.
He is available to play on Friday against Minnesota and likely will get minutes as the Lakers only have nine healthy bodies, plus their two-way players that have yet to see NBA action this season.
Westbrook happy for Reaves’ success
Even though Reaves may be out for some time moving forward, the guard has really been taking a step forward for the Lakers as of late.
After his game-winner in Dallas, Westbrook had nothing but praise for Reaves, helping him celebrate his success.
“Man, it’s amazing, especially for him,” the 33-year-old said. “Austin obviously played at OU, so I’ve kind of been watching him a little bit from a distance. To see him and all his work come to life in one moment, I know he’s filled with joy and my job is to make sure to keep uplifting him regardless of what’s going on and everybody did that. Jumped on him. Made him feel good about himself and what he was doing.
“It was a good moment for him.”
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