Detroit Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham enters health and safety protocols

Detroit Free Press

MIAMI — The Detroit Pistons were one of the few teams in the NBA largely unscathed by the league’s recent COVID-19 outbreak.

That changed on Wednesday, when the 2021 No. 1 draft pick, Cade Cunningham, entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the team confirmed in its injury report. The Athletic’s Shams Charania was first to report the news.

It isn’t immediately clear if Cunningham is in protocols due to a positive test. When a player tests positive, they’re required to either isolate for 10 days or get at least two negative PCR tests before returning.

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Cunningham enters protocols a day after the Pistons lost to the Knicks in New York. The Knicks are managing a COVID outbreak; center Nerlens Noel, who played 23 minutes in Tuesday night’s game, became their seventh player to enter protocols on Wednesday.

While Cunningham, who played 33 minutes Tuesday, is Detroit’s first player to enter protocols, the organization has still been affected by the ongoing pandemic. Members of the basketball operations staff have tested positive this season, and the Pistons had a game against the Chicago Bulls postponed last Monday after the Bulls had several players test positive. It was the first postponed game of the 2021-22 season.

The Pistons are scheduled to face the Heat in Miami on Thursday. They signed big man Cheick Diallo to a 10-day deal on Wednesday, according to The Athletic, to fortify their depth after losing Cunningham for a yet-to-be-determined period of time. Cunningham is averaging 15.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game.

Contact Omari Sankofa II at osankofa@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Pistons content. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

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