Bulls coach Billy Donovan confirmed before Saturday's game in Miami against the Heat that All-Star guard Zach LaVine will be out at least until the back end of the 10- to 14-day absence that multiple reports listed when the team's leading scorer first landed in the league's health and safety protocols.
LaVine last played April 14 at the United Center against the Magic and landed in the league's health and safety protocols the following day. Donovan said LaVine remains in quarantine in Chicago and "will probably have to go through some checkpoints in dealing with all this." Given that the Bulls play the Knicks in New York on April 28 before returning home, that means LaVine will be in the league's health and safety protocols for at least 14 days.
"He’s still in the protocol with the NBA. They’re working with medical," Donovan said. "I think there’s probably some things he’s going to have to continually go through. . . . In terms of a timeline, I just don't have one."
LaVine, who will have to meet all the NBA's return-to-play guidelines that include cardiac screening, also isn't allowed to work out at the Advocate Center while the Bulls are gone.
"He's basically by himself," Donovan said.
Donovan and the organization are in consistent communication with LaVine, who has not addressed his situation since landing in the league's health and safety protocols.
"I think he’s holding tight. The biggest things is the isolation part of it is really challenging for anybody. He’s by himself, and you’re away from the team, and I think the camaraderie of teammates and being around guys you’re playing with on a nightly basis and travelling with, and then you’re separated, it’s a lot," Donovan said. "It’s kind of like it all of a sudden comes to a stop.
"So again, with everything that’s going on with COVID-19 and the protocols and things like that, it’s just really up to the league in terms of how they’re handing down the guidelines and what he has to do in terms of following those guidelines. But I think he’s doing OK. I know he misses the games. I think the boring part that I mentioned is the fact that he sees us playing and is watching games and just wishes he could be out there playing. It’s unfortunate that he can’t be, but different players got to go through the protocol and some guys are out longer than others. So I think with him we’re just waiting to get more understanding from the league in terms of the next steps that he’ll have to take."