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Cavaliers' Lauri Markkanen joins Kevin Love in NBA's health protocols

Cavaliers' Lauri Markkanen joins Kevin Love in NBA's health protocols
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Lauri Markkanen (L), shown Oct. 6, 2021, has averaged 12.9 points and 5.9 rebounds across eight games this season, his first in Cleveland. File Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE

Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Cleveland Cavaliers forward Lauri Markkanen is expected to miss multiple games after entering the NBA's health and safety protocols.

Markkanen, who joined teammate Kevin Love in the league's COVID-19 protocols, was forced to miss Wednesday night's game against the Portland Trail Blazers. In a statement released Wednesday, the team said his status will be updated "at the appropriate time."

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The 7-foot forward is playing in his first season with the Cavaliers after the franchise acquired him from the Chicago Bulls in an August trade. He has averaged 12.9 points and 5.9 rebounds over eight games in the 2021-22 campaign.

The Minnesota Timberwolves drafted Markkanen with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2017 draft out of Arizona. On draft night, his rights were traded to the Bulls in a deal that included stars Zach LaVine and Jimmy Butler.

In 229 career games (203 starts) with the Bulls and Cavaliers, Markkanen has averaged 15.5 points, seven rebounds and 1.2 assists.

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On Monday, Love was put into the NBA's health protocols, presumably from a positive COVID-19 test. He was forced to miss the Cavs' 113-110 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday and Wednesday's matchup against the Trail Blazers.

Love is averaging 9.9 points and 7.3 rebounds across seven games this season.

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