Garrett Temple, the Bulls’ lone free-agent acquisition to sign a guaranteed contract, revealed before the Bulls’ first group practice Sunday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
Temple, a respected veteran who signed a one-year, $4.7 million deal, said he tested positive on Nov. 28 after experiencing headaches and fatigue. He has been quarantining at a Chicago hotel and said he hopes to be cleared for individual workouts on Wednesday -- though he’ll obviously follow medical and training staff guidelines.
“I’ve done the contact tracing and I’m pretty sure I know I got it from a family member,” Temple said on a Zoom call. “I was in Louisiana during Thanksgiving. Our family got together. Most of my family did not get it, which is good. My Dad, my Mom, nobody over 60, nobody with underlying conditions has it, which is great. My wife and my son are both negative, which is great. That’s where we are today.”
Temple said he’s past most of the symptomatic stage, which included some shortness of breath, mild congestion and a cough. He has been in consistent contact with Chip Schaefer, the Bulls’ director of sports performance, Todd Campbell, the new head athletic trainer, and Kathy Weber, one of the team’s physicians.
Temple, a vice president of the players association, knows the challenges the league faces to orchestrate this season outside of the bubble that was such a success for the restart and conclusion to the 2019-20 season in Orlando.
“It’s going to be hard,” Temple said. “The onus is going to be on the players. We have to be smart about who we’re around, about wearing a facemask whenever. I feel if I had a facemask on during my time with my family, I definitely would’ve mitigated the risk of getting it.”
Temple said Zach LaVine, Otto Porter Jr. and Thaddeus Young have reached out to him during his quarantine and he met some new teammates, including Patrick Williams and Denzel Valentine, when he went to get tested by the Bulls.
Management and coaching staff members also have talked to him, and he’s been watching some film of the Bulls during his isolation period.
“I have to have two negative tests before I can get back out there,” Temple said. League protocol dictates a once-infected player may return to their team after a 10-day period since their positive test (or the onset of symptoms), or after they produce consecutive negative PCR tests 24 hours apart.