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Report: Bulls PG Lonzo Ball enters health and safety protocols

Chicago is getting Zach LaVine an Ayo Dosunmu back in the lineup on Sunday vs. the Pacers. Unfortunately, Ball is heading to the COVID list.

Lonzo Ball #2 of the Chicago Bulls looks on during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 19, 2021 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

Chicago Bulls PG Lonzo Ball was placed into the NBA’s health and safety protocols due to COVID-19 on Sunday afternoon and will not play against the Indiana Pacers later in the day, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported. The Bulls were almost in the clear, though Ball may be the last man on the roster who hadn’t been placed into H&S protocols this season. Zach LaVine and Ayo Dosunmu are expected to return against the Pacers on Sunday. Still, it’s frustrating Ball couldn’t avoid the list despite being cautious.

With Ball sidelined, the Bulls are at least in good shape to withstand the loss. LaVine and Ayo are back, two players who could make up a starting back court. Coby White is healthy and playing well off the bench. We could see White start at PG with LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Javonte Green and Nikola Vucevic later on Sunday. Alex Caruso (foot) is day-to-day and expected to miss at least a week. Alfonzo McKinnie has played well enough to earn himself a contract after being added on hardship. Chicago should be fine without Ball in the short-term.

White is the one who will benefit the most from Ball being out in terms of fantasy basketball. White will be mega-chalk at $4,300 on the 7-game Sunday slate on DraftKings. LaVine and DeRozan are both appealing GPP plays up in the $9-10K range. DeRozan we know can facilitate a bit from his time with the Spurs. He could end up being the de facto PG in place of Ball. Javonte Green ($3,800) and Ayo ($4,000) become OK values but you really can’t beat White at that price.