This week has been a rough one for the Los Angeles Lakers regarding the pandemic as they have had five players placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols for positive coronavirus (COVID-19) tests.
It started with Talen Horton-Tucker, whose positive test forced the Lakers to cancel their practice on Tuesday before heading out for their road trip. The whole team got tested after that and Malik Monk and Dwight Howard were also placed in the protocols.
The Lakers continue their road trip on Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the expectation was that they would have 10 health players available unless more positive tests came up.
Luckily though, it looks like that number will grow by one as the Lakers finally received some good news regarding Monk, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Lakers guard Malik Monk has tested out of Covid protocols, sources tell @mcten and me. Prior testing led him into protocols on Wednesday. The Lakers play Minnesota on Friday night. Russell Westbrook, Avery Bradley, Dwight Howard and Talen Horton-Tucker remain in protocols.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 17, 2021
Three of the four players that are out for the Lakers are guards, so getting Monk back is big for L.A.
With Westbrook, Bradley and Horton-Tucker all expected to miss the game against Minnesota, the Lakers will have to replace their entire backcourt and Monk will likely take one of those spots if he is indeed able to play.
Lakers reportedly hoping to sign Isaiah Thomas
Given how many players are out for the Lakers, it appears they are trying to get a hardship exemption from the league to be able to sign another player until Horton-Tucker, Bradley, Westbrook and Howard return from protocols.
If they do get accepted by the NBA, they reportedly have a deal in place with Isaiah Thomas to return to the team on a 10-day contract.
Given the Lakers’ lack of guard depth, it makes sense they would look to bring in Thomas, who recently impressed in his G League debut.
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