The NBA has postponed the Chicago Bulls' next two games after 10 of their players were placed on the league's health and safety protocols for COVID-19. Bulls big man Nikola Vucevic has an interesting proposition for his team's would-be opponents, the Detroit Pistons.
As reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Chicago Bulls experienced the worst COVID-19 outbreak for an NBA team this season so far. They have 10 players on isolation, and the league postponed two games this week - against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday and the Toronto Raptors on Thursday.
Nikola Vucevic, who had his own bout with COVID-19 earlier in the season, jokingly suggested a 3-on-3 game against the Pistons. The Bulls were short on players due to the outbreak, and the Chicago Department of Public Health wanted to control the situation.
The Chicago Bulls players on the NBA's health and safety protocols are DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, Coby White, Javonte Green, Ayo Dosunmu, Matt Thomas, Alize Johnson, Stanley Johnson, Troy Brown Jr. and Derrick Jones Jr. Second-year forward Patrick Williams is out for the season after undergoing surgery for a hand injury.
On the other hand, the remaining active players for the team are Nikola Vucevic, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Tony Bradley, Tyler Cook, Devon Dotson, Alfonzo McKinnie and Marko Simonovic.
The NBA would have allowed the Bulls to play because they meet the minimum requirement of active players, but the City of Chicago wanted to stop the outbreak within the team.
All players entering the league's health and safety protocols must be isolated for 10 days. In order for a player to get cleared, two negative results are needed in the span of 24 hours. The Chicago Bulls are currently in second place in the Eastern Conference with a 17-10 record.
Nikola Vucevic was the first Chicago Bulls player to enter the health and safety protocols this season
Nikola Vucevic tested positive for COVID-19 back on November 11th and was placed in the NBA's health and safety protocols. He missed seven games in total as he recovered from the viral illness. He was reportedly fully vaccinated, which reduced his risks and symptoms.
When he returned, the 31-year-old Montenegrin star still felt the effects of the coronavirus as he felt out of rhythm and not at 100%. He had 14 points and 13 rebounds in his return against the Houston Rockets, but it was not enough to earn the win.
Nikola Vucevic is averaging 15.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks per game this season. His offensive numbers are down because of DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball, but the Chicago Bulls are winning. The Bulls are second in the East despite Vucevic not being in his All-Star form.
The two-time NBA All-Star was traded to the Chicago Bulls from the Orlando Magic last season. He failed to help Chicago into the playoffs last season, but they are expected to make it far this season, as long as they can all stay healthy.