Chicago Bulls' DeMar DeRozan is placed on COVID-19 protocols

CHICAGO – Chicago Bulls leading scorer DeMar DeRozan was placed in NBA health and safety protocols Monday, dealing a severe blow to a team that has the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.

DeRozan participated in practice the morning before the game against the Denver Nuggets. Coach Billy Donovan said he wasn’t sure if the four-time All-Star selected tested positive for the disease.

“I can’t really confirm or deny whether it is a false positive or a positive,” Donovan said. “I don’t know right now. Obviously, the medical staff works with the league on it and they set the guidelines, which he must follow. And I hope we can have more news in the next few days. “

Acquired from the San Antonio Spurs in an offseason deal, DeRozan has played a huge role in Chicago’s resurgence. He’s fourth in the NBA with 26.4 points per game and leads the league with the most points in the fourth quarter with 178 through Monday.

The Bulls are 16-8 with a half game behind the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference. They are eyeing their first postseason pass since the 2016-17 season.