Bulls lose DeRozan for Monday's game to health and safety protocols

Availability can change in a hurry these days.

DeMar DeRozan participated in Monday's shootaround at the Advocate Center, but between then and the start of the game against Denver, he went into health and safety protocols.

DeRozan is the third Bulls player to enter into protocols, joining Coby White and Javonte Green. The Nuggets had three players unavailable Monday for the same reason: Austin Rivers, Bones Hyland and Bol Bol.

"I know there's probably a lot more questions about, 'Is he positive, is he negative?' I don't even know yet," Bulls coach Billy Donovan said before the game. "This is obviously coming from the league and we'll probably have more information going forward. This just transpired this afternoon, so I can't really confirm or deny if it's a false positive or is positive. I just don't know right now."

Last month, Bulls center Nikola Vucevic missed seven games after testing positive for COVID, but there have been false positives. LeBron James missed a recent game after entering protocols, but was able to produce two negative tests and return immediately.

On Monday evening, DeRozan retweeted a message posted by James that read, "Something is REAL fishy going on." Of course, he used fish emojis instead of the word fishy, but the message was clear.

As a team, the Bulls are 100% vaccinated, but obviously that doesn't prevent someone from testing positive for COVID, though it usually lessens the symptoms. The Charlotte Hornets have it worse right now, with five players in health and safety protocols. The Bulls played the Hornets last Monday.

Donovan said he wasn't required to be tested Monday afternoon, but did anyway because he doesn't want to pass anything to someone else.

Last season, with no fans in the stands for most of the campaign, players faced restrictions on what they could do on the road. With the Bulls about to embark on a four-day trip to Cleveland and Miami, Donovan was asked if any of those might come back.

"Well I think one of the incentives for people getting vaccinated, at least in the NBA, was the fact that you could kind of get back to more of a normal life, where you would be able to as a team go out to team functions and team dinners, and you weren't necessarily isolated to your hotel room," he said.

"I think that was the one benefit. But obviously I think medical people are finding out more and more about this. I don't know what comes down from the league in terms of if we go back to exactly like it was last year. I just don't know that."

DeRozan collects honor:

Before news of health and safety protocols dropped, DeMar DeRozan was named Eastern Conference player of the week. He averaged 30.3 points and shot 59% from the field as the Bulls won games against Charlotte, New York and Brooklyn.

Heading into Monday's action, the 6-7 forward was fourth in the league in scoring at 26.4 points per game.

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