Team USA’s Zach LaVine Clears COVID-19 Protocols

JULY 20: LaVine has cleared the health and safety protocols and will join Team USA in Tokyo on Thursday afternoon, USA Basketball announced late on Tuesday night (Twitter link).

With the NBA Finals now over, Booker, Middleton, and Holiday should all be able to report to the U.S. squad in Tokyo with plenty of time to spare before Sunday’s game as well.

JULY 19: Bulls guard Zach LaVine has been placed under the healthy and safety protocols related to COVID-19, according to USA Basketball (Twitter link). As a result, LaVine won’t be on the team’s flight to Tokyo today.

LaVine has not yet been ruled out for the Olympics like Bradley Beal was last week. According to Team USA, the hope is that LaVine will be cleared to travel to Japan later this week.

LaVine’s situation is the latest hurdle to overcome for a U.S. squad that has faced a series of challenges during the lead-up to the Tokyo games. Last week, Beal and Jerami Grant were placed in the health and safety protocols and Kevin Love withdrew from the roster for health reasons. Grant has since been cleared and will travel to Tokyo with Team USA, but Beal and Love were replaced on the roster by Keldon Johnson and JaVale McGee.

While it sounds like LaVine may follow in Grant’s footsteps and exit the protocols within a few days, Team USA runs the risk of being shorthanded until there’s clarity one way or the other on LaVine. The roster was already temporarily down three players, since Devin Booker, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday remain active in the NBA Finals through at least Tuesday (or Thursday, if a Game 7 if necessary). The U.S. will play its first game of the Olympics on Sunday morning vs. France.

For what it’s worth, LaVine tested positive for the coronavirus in April.

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