Bulls forward Noah Vonleh has tested positive for COVID-19 and is beginning a 10-day quarantine period, Yahoo! Sports' Chris Haynes reported Monday afternoon.
According to Haynes, Vonleh, who signed with the Bulls in November, will be waived.
"Unfortunately, I have tested positive with COVID, so my time with the Bulls has come to an end," Vonleh said in a statement to Yahoo! Sports. "Thank you to the organization for everything. Though it was a short time, I appreciate the opportunity. I am thankfully feeling good, and I look forward to working my way to another NBA opportunity once I am cleared to play again!"
As Keith Smith first reported, Vonleh's contract with the Bulls was non-guaranteed until opening night -- and in fact, he was the 16th player on the roster at the time of his signing. Vonleh faced an uphill climb to make the final 15-man roster, needing to significantly outplay Luke Kornet and Cristiano Felício, both of whom own guaranteed deals. The Bulls waiving him likely has less to do with him testing positive for COVID-19, and more to do with that fact. As a training camp flier -- for lack of a better term -- he was likely to be gone by Dec. 23, the night of the Bulls' opener, anyway.
Vonleh played 11 minutes in the Bulls' first preseason game against the Houston Rockets, notching 12 points and eight rebounds. In the run-up to the Bulls' second preseason contest Sunday night, he was listed as out and "not with team" on the NBA's official injury report.
"The only thing I can say on Noah is he’s in NBA protocol right now," Bulls coach Billy Donovan said before the game.
The Bulls had three other players -- Tomáš Satoranský, Kornet and Devon Dotson -- also scratched from the game late for what have officially been termed excused absences. That doesn't mean one, two or all three have tested positive for COVID-19. It does mean there is something -- contact tracing, an inconclusive test result, possible exposure from a family member -- that is giving the team pause.
Unlike Vonleh, Satoranský and Kornet's contracts are guaranteed for this season, and Dotson is signed to a two-way deal.
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