Good News: Lauri Markkanen and Ryan Arcidiacono Practiced Fully on Tuesday

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Good News: Lauri Markkanen and Ryan Arcidiacono Practiced Fully on Tuesday

Chicago Bulls

Lauri Markkanen and Ryan Arcidiacono have finally rejoined the Bulls after being away from the team since December 31st. Both players were deemed as having close contact with Chandler Hutchison, whom the organization later announced tested positive for COVID-19.

The players did register negative tests over the last 12 days, but each had to be monitored closely in accordance with the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols (which were just updated), which is why neither was able to make it back in time for the Bulls Western Conference road trip.

With the team finally back in Chicago, though, Markkanen and Arcidiacono were given the green light to go back to business. According to NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson, each player was able to practice in full with the team on Tuesday.

As for Hutchison and Satoransky, they are in Chicago but remain away from the Advocate Center. To this point, there has been no update on when either might return to normal team activities.

Still, the return of two out of the four players will be a welcomed sight for Billy Donovan. The Bulls new head coach has been forced to play his young pieces longer than he would like over the last few games. Coby White has clocked at least 38 minutes of action over his last four outing, even reaching 42 minutes in the Bulls contest against the Los Angeles Clippers. Meanwhile, Zach LaVine is in a very similar boat, playing 40+ minutes in two of the Bulls last four games.

While Ryan Arcidiacono isn’t expected to be a primary option in the second unit, his presence will at least give the Bulls some added backcourt depth as they wait for the return of Satoransky.

Markkanen, on the other hand, will surely be thrown right back into the starting lineup. The third-year big man was playing arguably his best basketball in years at the start of the season, averaging 17.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. He was also shooting a much-improved 50 percent from the field and 47.8 percent from downtown.

The Bulls offense has been playing rather smoothly in Markkanen’s absence, so it will be interesting to see what kind of impact his return has on that side of the ball. Did his absence have anything to do with the Bulls improved play or did the rest of the players just need some time to catch up to his hot start? I suspect it’s just the latter, but it’s something to keep an eye on.



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is a writer for Bleacher Nation and a human being. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.