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Russell Westbrook Has Entered COVID Protocols Creating The Need For Isaiah Thomas In L.A.

The Los Angeles Lakers have steadily started to find their footing, improving to 16-13 on Wednesday night with a thrilling overtime win over the Mavs. Assisting in their recent uptick in play have been, one, the health of LeBron James, and, two, more consistent and positive contributions from Russell Westbrook.

After a rough start to the season with turnovers and poor shooting, Westbrook has started to show signs of finding his place alongside James and Davis and is looking more like the player we saw drag the Wizards to a playoff berth a year ago. Unfortunately, right as he was starting to look like his old self, he will go on the shelf for up to 10 days as word emerged on Thursday afternoon that Westbrook was entering the league’s COVID protocols.

In addition to Westbrook, Avery Bradley was placed in the protocols.

That news came shortly after the Lakers picked up Isaiah Thomas on a 10-day following his big G League debut, and Westbrook’s absence explains how L.A. gained a hardship exemption to create the roster spot for Thomas. Westbrook is the latest NBA star to go into COVID protocols, as the league has seen a sharp uptick in positive tests and there is chatter that changes to testing and day-to-day protocols could be coming, with the NBA and NBPA in discussions on what needs to be adjusted to keep this season going, because it is on an unsustainable track with absences that have some calling for the league to take a pause.