Lakers Add Dwight Howard, Malik Monk To COVID Protocols

The Los Angeles Lakers have added center Dwight Howard and guard Malik Monk to the NBA’s health and safety protocols — announced on Tuesday, via The Athletic / Stadium’s Shams Charania.

The Lakers are now at three players sent to the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Tuesday alone — the first occurrence coming from Talen Horton-Tucker. After placing Horton-Tucker in protocols, the Lakers announced that their home training facilities in Los Angeles would be shut down, canceling practice for the day.

As relayed by Hoops Rumors, Howard did not travel with the team en route to Dallas to face off against the Mavericks Wednesday; however, Malik Monk did travel with the Lakers and will be returning to Los Angeles as part of the protocols.

All three Lakers will need to provide two negative PCR test results within 24 hours of diagnosis to avoid the 10-day timeline reserved for COVID-positive players. As for Wednesday’s contest, the Lakers have ruled out all three players.

Howard became a focal point for the offense when he eclipsed DeAndre Jordan for the starting center’s role. With limited size now left on the Lakers (including a potential absence by Anthony Davis on Wednesday) and after a strong performance against the Kings (Nov. 30) the team will certainly miss Howard, should he miss the 10 days of action.

His production has been tepid since facing the Kings: recording no more than six points dating back to Dec. 3. Nonetheless, Howard has found his salt on the defensive end — netting a plus-11 in the latest contest versus the Orlando Magic despite only scoring five points. He also had three steals and two blocks.

Monk has been sprinkled into the game plan after scoring 22 points in 33 minutes against the aforementioned Kings matchup. Similar to Howard, Monk has cooled off a bit since having a strong start to December: averaging only six points in his last four contests on nearly 20 minutes a night.

The Lakers are reportedly fully vaccinated as a team. Howard has been open in the past regarding vaccine hesitancy.

Keep an eye out at Hoops Wire as Lakers players that traveled with Monk are assessed by the team leading up to Wednesday’s game.

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