The Los Angeles Lakers will be without starting center Marc Gasol for at least two more games as the big man continues to be away from the team because of the league’s health and safety protocols, coach Frank Vogel said Saturday.
Gasol has already missed three games, spanning back to before the All-Star break, because of a violation of the NBA’s COVID-19 restrictions. While the team has not divulged what caused Gasol to be put into the health and safety protocols, a contact tracing violation, accompanied by a negative test, requires only a seven-day quarantine.
By the time the Lakers’ back-to-back games on Monday against the Golden State Warriors and Tuesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves are completed, Gasol will have been away from the team for 16 days.
“At the end of the day, we’re pros,” Lakers guard Dennis Schroder, who previously missed time because of a contact tracing violation, said Saturday when asked about Gasol. “Even if you are healthy and in the health and safety protocols, you still try to get the work in. I mean, I think the situation with Marc is even worse than mine. But at the end of the day, we can’t control that. We just got to do our things that we can control but … it’s some B.S., for sure.”
Gasol, who signed a two-year contract with L.A. in the offseason, has struggled in his debut season with the Lakers, averaging 4.8 points on 40.3% shooting, 4.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 20.1 minutes per game.
Damian Jones, signed to a second-consecutive 10-day contract this week, started at center in the Lakers’ win against the Indiana Pacers and put up seven points and one rebound in 16 minutes.
Alex Caruso has been diagnosed with a mild concussion after hitting the back of his head against the court Friday, and has been placed in concussion protocol, the team said.
Third-year forward Kostas Antetokounmpo will also miss the Warriors and Wolves games because of the health and safety protocols, according to Vogel.