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Lonzo Ball Enters NBA's Health And Safety Protocols

Lonzo Ball joins Alfonzo McKinnie and Tony Bradley in the protocols.
Lonzo Ball Bulls COVID

Photo: Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls have been battling a COVID-19 outbreak since the beginning of December. Just three days after all previously affected players returned from the list, Lonzo Ball has entered NBA's health and safety protocols.

Lonzo Ball's Impact

Lonzo Ball has been a key component of the Bulls' early success. He's averaging 13.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game while shooting 41.8% from the field and 41.9% from three. Additionally, Ball has been one of the Bulls' better defenders. The team ranks ninth in points allowed so far this season.

The Bulls acquired Ball this offseason in a sign-and-trade agreement with the Pelicans. After an investigation, the NBA docked Chicago a second-round pick for tampering to complete the deal. However, Ball's play has lived up to what it took to complete the deal.

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Lonzo Ball's Likely Replacement

In addition to Lonzo Ball, Alfonzo McKinnie and Tony Bradley are also in COVID protocols. Furthermore, Alex Caruso is still out with a foot injury. He would be the typical replacement for Ball. This means Coby White will get a huge opportunity to prove his worth.

White and Zach LaVine are the only Bulls' players remaining from the Gar Forman/John Paxson regime. LaVine, clearly a core piece, is willing to work on an extension to stay in Chicago. On the other hand, White's future is up in the air. Ball is solidified as the starting point guard and DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso will be here for the next few years as well.

White must find ways to contribute off the bench in a primary backup role. He has only scored 14 points or more three times in 11 appearances this year. With Ball sidelined, White needs to display consistency over the next two weeks to prove he fits in the lineup.