Nikola Vucevic Enters Protocols Following Positive COVID Test

Bulls center Nikola Vucevic has become the latest player to enter the NBA’s health and safety protocols, a source tells K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago (Twitter link). According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), Vucevic has tested positive for COVID-19.

Based on the league’s protocols, Vucevic is expected to be sidelined for at least 10 days. According to Johnson (via Twitter), the big man won’t travel with the Bulls when they leave for their five-game road trip today.

Several players around the NBA are currently in the league’s health and safety protocols after reportedly testing positive for the coronavirus. The Sixers have experienced the biggest outbreak and faced the Bulls twice last week. Joel Embiid, who played in those games vs. Chicago on Wednesday and Saturday, tested positive for COVID-19 and entered the NBA’s protocols on Monday.

Vucevic, 31, is off to a slow start this season, averaging just 13.6 PPG on 39.5% shooting in 11 games (34.2 MPG). However, he has contributed 10.9 RPG and a career-best 4.3 APG, and his offensive struggles certainly haven’t slowed down the Bulls so far. The team is tied for the top seed in the Eastern Conference with an 8-3 record.

With Vucevic on the shelf, backup bigs Tony Bradley and Alize Johnson will slide up the depth chart, and Chicago may lean more heavily on small-ball lineups.

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