Lakers News: Malik Monk, Avery Bradley Available vs. Nets After Clearing Protocols

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 25, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 03: Malik Monk #11 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to his missed three pointer during a 119-115 LA Clippers win at Staples Center on December 03, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.  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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers guards Malik Monk and Avery Bradley have cleared the NBA's health and safety protocols and will be available Saturday night versus the Brooklyn Nets, per Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times

Trevor Ariza, Kent Bazemore and Austin Reaves remain in the protocols for the Lakers. 

Anthony Davis (MCL sprain) and Kendrick Nunn (right knee bone bruise) also remain out for the Lakers.

Monk hasn't played since Dec. 12 due to the health and safety protocols, and he hasn't appeared to be thrilled about missing the past two weeks:

Malik Monk @AhmadMonk

Free me πŸ˜’πŸ˜”

Bradley last played on Dec. 15. 

Getting both back will be a boost for a Lakers team that heads into a tough Christmas Day matchup with the Nets on a four-game losing streak. The Lakers are 16-17 on the year, a disappointing showing for a team that came into the season with championship aspirations. 

"We have no chemistry with any lineup from the simple fact that we haven't logged any minutes," LeBron James told reporters on Thursday after a 138-110 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. "All of our defensive guys are in health and safety protocols. ... We don't need a full roster. We just need some of our guys back."

So thin have the Lakers been that they signed veteran guard Darren Collison out of retirement to a 10-day contract with a hardship exemption. They've also added veterans Isaiah Thomas and Stanley Johnson on the same exemption.

"Nothing you can do but figure it out," Westbrook said Thursday. "Find ways. Get guys back in shape. We have a bunch of guys in that locker room that don't quit and don't give in to what's happening. We've got to turn the page and find a way to win a ballgame."

Monk, 23, has been solid for the Lakers in a reserve role, averaging 9.7 points in 23.8 minutes per game while shooting 36.1 percent from three. For a Lakers team starved of spacing and shooting around LeBron James and Russell Westbrook at the moment, he's become all the more important. 

Bradley, 31, has started 21 of his 26 appearances this year, giving the Lakers a nice three-and-D option. He's averaging 5.8 points in 23 minutes per game and shooting 40.0 percent from three.