The Bulls will be without Lauri Markkanen, Ryan Arcidiacono, Tomas Satoransky, and Chandler Hutchison on Thursday evening vs. the Wizards due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, head coach Billy Donovan said today (Twitter link via K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago).
Those health and safety protocols are related to COVID-19, but neither teams nor the league have been providing many details on specific players’ absences. It’s possible one or more of the affected Bulls players had a positive or inconclusive coronavirus test result. They may also be tied up in the NBA’s contact tracing program.
Donovan told reporters – including Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic (Twitter link) – that he’s unsure how long Markkanen, Arcidiacono, Satoransky, and Hutchison will be unavailable. He’s also not even certain whether or not those four players will be permitted to travel out of D.C. with the rest of the team after tonight’s game (Twitter link via Johnson).
While the Bulls wait for clarity on a potential timeline for their missing players, they’ll have to figure out a new-look lineup and rotation tonight vs. Washington and presumably on Friday vs. Milwaukee as well. Markkanen had started at power forward in each of Chicago’s first four games, while the other three players logged between 28 and 68 total minutes in those contests.