For a short minute, it looked like the Raptors were going to play the Chicago Bulls tonight.
The team got on the plane to Chicago yesterday among reports that more players had entered health and safety protocols, bringing the total number of players affected by the outbreak to seven. Those players are Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, Dalano Banton, Malachi Flynn, Scottie Barnes, Precious Achiuwa, and Gary Trent Jr.
David Johnson (calf), Justin Champagnie (non-COVID illness), and Goran Dragic (personal) were ruled out of the game yesterday. This morning Khem Birch (knee) was ruled out.
That left only five players available for the Raptors to play tonight in Chicago, and if the NBA was still operating on last year’s rules, it would have meant an automatic postponement. This year, the NBA implemented new rules allowing players to call up one G League player per every player out in protocols.
The plan was to bring up four players from the G League to round out the roster so that the Raptors had the required players to face the Bulls tonight, and so they got on the plane and headed to Chicago.
This morning, OG Anunoby also entered health and safety protocols, bringing the Raptors total number of players up to eight.
ESPN Sources: Prior to the league postponing the Raptors-Bulls game tonight, Toronto's OG Anunoby entered the league's Covid protocols. That's eight Raptors in protocols now.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 22, 2021
That leaves Yuta Watanabe, Svi Mykhailiuk, Chris Boucher, and Isaac Bonga as the only players on the usual team who are available to play. There has been no word on whether any of the coaching staff has entered protocols.
The NBA announced Thursday morning around 11:30AM that the game tonight between Toronto and Chicago had been postponed. With Anunoby out, the team does not have the required players, even with the new signings.
The next scheduled Raptors game is Sunday, December 26th in Cleveland. Though, if this game does not get postponed, it might as well be the Cavs vs. the Raptors 905... because at this rate the roster will be 100% G League players.
According to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA has no plans currently to pause the NBA season despite the COVID-19 outbreak happening.