Lakers’ Russell Westbrook clears COVID protocol; team signs Isaiah Thomas to 10-day contract


MINNEAPOLIS — Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook tested out of the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols and is available to play against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, the team announced.

Westbrook flew from Dallas to Minneapolis after the testing, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Westbrook was placed in the health and safety protocols following the Lakers’ 107-104 overtime road win against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. For a player to be cleared from the protocols, he must return two negative tests 24 hours apart.

The Lakers also signed guard Isaiah Thomas to a 10-day contract on Friday. Thomas joins the roster under the hardship exemption, which allows a team to exceed the 15-player maximum. Los Angeles is without several players due to injuries and the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols. Thomas will dress and be available against the Timberwolves.

Avery Bradley, Talen Horton-Tucker and Dwight Howard will miss Friday’s game as they remain in the league’s health and safety protocols.

Malik Monk was cleared to fly from Los Angeles to Minneapolis to join the team for Friday night’s game. But ultimately he was not cleared to play, sources told ESPN.

The Lakers announced that Kendrick Nunn, who has been out all season with a bone bruise in his knee, also has entered the protocols.

Rookie Austin Reaves, the hero of the team’s overtime win in Dallas at the start of the road trip, has also entered into health and safety protocols and will be out for the Wolves game, according to the team.

Reaves traveled to Minneapolis on the team charter Thursday and registered a positive test on Friday.

L.A. already arranged for two-way players Chaundee Brown and Jay Huff to join the team on the road trip and announced Friday that Trevor Ariza, who has been out all season following ankle surgery in the preseason, has been upgraded to questionable for the Wolves game and will be in uniform. Ariza, however, would only go into the game if L.A. runs out of eligible players to finish the contest.

Thomas, 32, last played in the NBA during the 2020-21 season while on a 10-day contract with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Thomas, who played for USA Basketball in Novembers, dropped 42 points in his G League debut on Wednesday.

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