DECEMBER 15: Vonleh’s release from the Bulls is now official, according to RealGM’s transactions log.
DECEMBER 14: Veteran forward Noah Vonleh has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be waived by the Bulls, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Teams won’t be announcing which of their players test positive for the coronavirus this season, but Vonleh confirmed his diagnosis to Haynes.
“Unfortunately, I have tested positive for COVID, and so my time with the Bulls has come to an end,” Vonleh said in a statement to Yahoo Sports. “Thank you to the organization for everything. Though it was a short time, I appreciate the opportunity. I am thankfully feeling good, and I look forward to working my way to another NBA opportunity once I’m cleared to play again!”
The Bulls are carrying 15 players on guaranteed contracts and Vonleh isn’t one of them, so his positive test likely just accelerated his release — unless he earned a spot on the regular season roster, he would’ve been waived within the next week anyway. He’ll undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine as he awaits medical clearance, Haynes notes.
The ninth overall pick in the 2014 draft, Vonleh began his career in Charlotte before moving on to Portland, Chicago, and New York. In 2019/20, he began the season in Minnesota before being traded to Denver as part of the four-team mega-deal involving Clint Capela and Robert Covington.
In total, Vonleh averaged just 3.7 PPG and 3.4 RPG in 36 games (10.5 MPG) for the Timberwolves and Nuggets last season. He was more productive in 2018/19 for the Knicks, recording 8.4 PPG and 7.8 RPG in 68 games (25.3 MPG), and is still just 25 years old, so he should get another NBA opportunity.