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Zach LaVine makes it nine Bulls in health, safety protocols

Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat

MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 11: Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls dribbles the ball up the court against the Miami Heat during the second half at FTX Arena on December 11, 2021 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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It’s a legitimate question whether or not the Chicago Bulls will be able to dress the required eight players when they host the Pistons on Tuesday night.

The Bulls’ Zach LaVine and Troy Brown Jr. went into the league’s health and safety protocols Sunday, NBC Sports Chicago confirmed. That makes nine Chicago in the protocols because DeMar DeRozan, Coby White, Javonte Green, Matt Thomas, Derrick Jones Jr., Ayo Dosunmu and Stanley Johnson were already there.

Throw in Patrick Williams being out injured and it is conceivable the Bulls will not have enough players cleared to suit up Tuesday night. By then, White and Green will be beyond the 10 days required by the protocols and could return if they have produced negative tests and can pass a cardiac test (White is back in the team facilities as of Sunday), but their status is unknown.

The Bulls also can sign players on a hardship waiver to play until their numbers are back up.

COVID has hit the league hard in recent weeks — the Hornets had five players in protocols, and both the Raptors and Pacers canceled practices — but no game has been postponed.