Team USA basketball: Zach LaVine in health and safety protocols, won’t travel to Tokyo with teammates Monday

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When the opening ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics begins Friday, not every member of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team will be present to watch. Aside from the trio of players still playing in the NBA Finals, Team USA announced Monday afternoon that Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine also won’t travel with the team to Tokyo as he’s been placed in health and safety protocols.

Per Team USA:

“Out of an abundance of caution, USA Basketball Men’s National Team member Zach LaVine has been placed under USA Basketball’s health and safety protocols and will not travel with the team to Tokyo today. USA Basketball hopes that Zach will be able to join the team in Tokyo later this week.”

This news comes just a week after Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal had to be replaced on the roster due to health and safety protocols, in addition to the Detroit Pistons‘ Jerami Grant being placed in quarantine for the same reason. The U.S. is already without Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, as all three are still competing in the NBA Finals between the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee, but could conclude as soon as Tuesday night with Game 6 in Milwaukee. 

Unlike Beal’s situation, Team USA is optimistic LaVine will be able to join them at some point during the Olympics. This isn’t the first time LaVine has been quarantined, either. He was sidelined for two weeks during the regular season after testing positive for the coronavirus. The All-Star guard said when he tested positive back in April that he was mostly asymptomatic, and only experienced a headache during his near-three-week absence.

It’s unclear exactly when LaVine will be able to join the team in Tokyo, but with the USA’s first contest in six days, it would be surprising if he was available for that first game against France. Team USA will just have to hope that it won’t have to replace its third player, after having to add Keldon Johnson and JaVale McGee to replace Beal and Kevin Love, who opted out due to a lingering right calf injury.

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