Derrick Jones Jr. is the FIFTH Bull to Enter the NBA's Health and Safety Protocols

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Derrick Jones Jr. is the FIFTH Bull to Enter the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols

Chicago Bulls

Things keep getting worse for the Chicago Bulls.

First reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and later confirmed by Bulls PR, Derrick Jones Jr. has become the fifth Bull to enter the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols. The Jones news comes one day after Matt Thomas joined Coby White, Javonte Green, and DeMar DeRozan in protocols.

Add in the extended absence of Patrick Williams and the current hamstring injury for Alex Caruso, and the Chicago Bulls are in line to be down SEVEN players for Saturday’s matchup against the Miami Heat. Six of those players are viewed as rotation staples.

Here is what the available roster looks like:

Zach LaVine
Nikola Vucevic
Lonzo Ball
Ayo Dosunmu
Troy Brown Jr.
Alize Johnson
Tony Bradley
Stanley Johnson

Devon Dotson
Tyler Cook

I have no clue what the Bulls starting lineup is about to look like. Will they have to run with four guards? Will Alize start at the four? Will Stanley – who is on a 10-day contract – immediately join the starters? As for the second unit, who will lose another member to the starting group, we might as well all expect a similar performance to what we saw last night against Miami, where the group failed to contribute a single point until two minutes into the 4th quarter.

Now, the good news is the Bulls might finally start to trend in the right direction over the next few days. NBC Sports Chicago’s Rob Schaefer reported on Wednesday that there is a world where Caruso is given the green light to return ahead of Saturday’s game. Coby White, who tested positive on December 1st, should also be in line to rejoin the team by Monday. The sparkplug scorer will still have to pass cardio testing – as will all returning players – but there is a chance he and a few other Bulls are back on the floor for action next week.

No matter how we look at this, though, the Bulls are in an incredibly vulnerable place. Good thing they stacked those early wins because staying on the right side of the scoreboard over the next few games could be a challenge.



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.