Cavaliers forward Lauri Markkanen has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocol and will miss Wednesday’s home game against the Trail Blazers, the team announced.
Markkanen is expected to miss “several” games, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Markkanen becomes the second member of the Cavs to enter the protocols, along with fellow forward Kevin Love. The Cavs (4-4) are also expected to be without guard/forward Isaac Okoro, who has missed four straight games with a hamstring issue.
All of the players on the Cavs’ roster are reportedly 100 percent vaccinated against the coronavirus.
NBA players can be placed in the protocol for either contracting the virus or being in close contact with someone who has tested positive. Along with Markkanen and Love, 76ers forward Tobias Harris and Bucks forward Khris Middleton have also entered the league’s protocol this past week.
“NBA players testing positive have two avenues toward a return to play — waiting 10 days from testing positive or onset of symptoms, or passing consecutive negative PCR tests 24 hours apart,” wrote Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. “Finally, players who experienced symptoms must pass cardiac testing prior to a return.”
As for Markkanen, the Cavs would only say that additional updates “will be provided at the appropriate time.”
It’s been an unconventional lineup that’s worked well so far, as the Cavs have confused opponents with their mix of size and speed — finishing 3-2 on their recent road trip that included four games out West.
Markkanen, 24, arrived in Cleveland following an offseason trade with the Bulls and Trail Blazers.
He is averaging 12.9 points and 5.9 rebounds in eight games with Cleveland, shooting career-lows of 36 percent from the field and 28 percent on 3-pointers.