Lakers' Russell Westbrook, Avery Bradley Reportedly Enter NBA's COVID-19 Protocols

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 16, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) looks on against the Golden State Warriors during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. The Warriors won 121-114. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

Los Angeles Lakers guards Russell Westbrook and Avery Bradley have entered the NBA's COVID-19 protocols, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin.

Westbrook and Bradley reportedly become the latest Laker to enter protocols this week. Talen Horton-Tucker, Dwight Howard and Malik Monk were all placed in protocols earlier this week.

Of note, Los Angeles bolstered its backcourt depth by signing two-time NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas to a 10-day contract on Thursday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Westbrook was involved in perhaps the most surprising trade of the offseason when the Lakers acquired him from the Wizards in what became a sprawling deal. It was a big bet by L.A. considering how much depth it sacrificed by losing Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell.

The bet on the 2016-17 MVP generated skepticism because of his odd fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, neither of whom excels as a long-range shooter.

The hope from Los Angeles was that Westbrook could help the team pile up the regular-season wins in the event one of James or Davis missed time, and even that isn't happening.

The 33-year-old is averaging 19.6 points, 8.4 assists and 7.8 rebounds, and his shooting (32.2 percent on three-pointers) is as bad as it ever was. 

Bradley, meanwhile, is averaging 5.8 points on 40.6 percent shooting, which includes 40 percent from beyond the arc.

The Lakers currently sit sixth in the Western Conference at 16-13.

This latest development involving Westbrook is particularly important because of how much time LeBron James missed because of an abdominal strain. Head coach Frank Vogel hasn't had his three best players all healthy for very much of the season, which is tough when one of the three hasn't built on-court chemistry with the other two.