Raptors' Dec. 16 game postponed due to Bulls' COVID-19 outbreak

·2-min read
The Raptors-Bulls rematch will be delayed due to a COVID outbreak within the Chicago team. (Getty)
The Raptors-Bulls rematch will be delayed due to a COVID outbreak within the Chicago team. (Getty)

DeMar DeRozan won't be back in Toronto this week.

The NBA has finally relented and is postponing two Chicago Bulls games, including Thursday's away game against the Toronto Raptors, the team announced on Monday.

The Bulls have 10 players in the league's COVID-19 protocol, which leaves them with eight active players — the league minimum for a regular-season game. Their game against the Detroit Pistons, slated for Tuesday, has also been delayed.

Chicago has dealt with COVID issues since last week, though the NBA seemed loath to postpone any games. This is the first time this season that matchups have been postponed due to the virus.

Star guards DeRozan and Zach LaVine are among Bulls players currently in health and safety protocols.

The Raptors were forced to cancel practice last week after team president Masai Ujiri tested positive after being exposed to the virus at a Giants of Africa gala. Centre Precious Achiuwa entered the league's health and safety protocols three days later after being deemed a close contact of someone who tested positive following the event. The Charlotte Hornets went through an outbreak of their own earlier in the month when four players landed on the COVID list.

According to the league, 97 percent of players and staff are vaccinated.

The NBA follows in the steps of the NHL, which has been forced to postpone multiple games already this season — most recently announcing that the Calgary Flames would have three games delayed this week.

Toronto and Chicago are scheduled to face off again on Dec. 22, with the Raptors going on the road for that game. Thursday's game would have been the second time these teams played each other this season. The Bulls took the first game 111-108 back on Oct. 25 at Scotiabank Arena.

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