The 33-year-old Westbrook was placed in the league's COVID-19 protocols after the Lakers' 107-104 overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. Under the NBA's protocols, a player must produce two negative tests 24 hours apart to be cleared to return.
"It's craziness," Lakers head coach Frank Vogel told reporters before Friday's game when asked about players going in and out of the protocols. "I don't know what the answer is but it's not like anything I've seen before or dealt with before as a coach -- coming into games and guys just in and out of the lineups like this."
Also Friday, the Lakers signed veteran guard Isaiah Thomas to a 10-day contract. Thomas joins the Lakers' roster under the hardship exemption, which allows a team to exceed the 15-player maximum if certain requirements are met.
The Lakers are without multiple players because of injuries and the league's COVID-19 protocols, including Avery Bradley, Dwight Howard, Kendrick Nunn and Talen Horton-Tucker. Malik Monk was cleared to join the team for Friday's game, but ultimately he was unable to play.
The 32-year-old Thomas, who suited up Friday in Minnesota, last played in the NBA during the 2020-21 campaign while on a 10-day contract with the New Orleans Pelicans. He dropped 42 points in his G League debut Wednesday.