With the NBA permitting teams to take a maximum of 17 players into the Walt Disney World bubble for the season restart, the Los Angeles Lakers were among those to take advantage by submitting a full roster.
In addition to a full allotment of players, vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka, head coach Frank Vogel and some members of his staff, the Lakers’ traveling party was heavy on medical personnel.
“We landed in a place of basically giving us the best opportunity to be healthy, support our players and compete to win games,” Vogel explained earlier this month. “I will say, like most teams, we did load up on medical personnel.”
While the Lakers entered the bubble with the notion of having 17 eligible players, it was later determined Markieff Morris did not travel with the team. He reportedly had an excused absence and arrived in Orlando earlier this week.
According to Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group, Morris has since cleared the NBA quarantine period and can join the Lakers in practices and games:
The Lakers say Markieff Morris has cleared quarantine and should join the Lakers in the NBA bubble.
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) July 23, 2020
L.A. tips off their first scrimmage game at 4 p.m. PT on Thursday, though Morris for all intents and purposes can be ruled out. The team has taken a deliberate approach to ramping up the level of activity, and it’s unclear how much Morris participated in individual workouts the week before the team left for Orlando.
The Detroit Pistons bought out Morris and he appeared in eight games with the Lakers prior to the NBA being forced to shut down because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Vogel outlines ‘intelligent’ plan
Over the past month the Lakers have declined to discuss specifics with players in terms of health, or who is and isn’t with the team, out of respect for privacy concerns. However, Vogel did share some details regarding Morris on Tuesday.
“Markieff Morris has cleared the protocol in L.A. and is en route to join our team. Once he arrives, I believe the protocol is he’s got to clear two negative tests and quarantine for 36 to 48 hours,” Vogel said.
“So it will be a couple days after he arrives before we’re able to see him and get him out on the court. Obviously, we’re going to be smart about building him up at the right pace. We don’t want to put him in a position to be injured.
“He has been out and not competing with the team for a while, sow we’ll just take it day by day and be intelligent with it.”
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