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Cleveland Cavaliers forward Lauri Markkanen has entered the NBA's health and safety protocols, the team announced Wednesday, and is expected to miss several games, per The Athletic's Shams Charania. Markkanen is the latest on what is becoming an increasingly lengthy list of players to enter the protocols this season, which includes teammate Kevin Love. Khris Middleton and Tobias Harris are also out due to the protocols, and according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey, Harris has tested positive for COVID-19. 

The Cavaliers are reportedly fully vaccinated, and it is not clear if Markkanen has tested positive or not. If a player does test positive, they can return 10 days after the positive test, or they can pass consecutive negative PCR tests 24 hours apart. Symptomatic players must pass a cardiac test before returning. Reports indicate that 95 percent of NBA players are vaccinated, but a number of notable players, including Kyrie Irving and Bradley Beal, have publicly stated that they are not vaccinated. 

Markkanen is averaging 12.9 points per game as he adjusts to a new role as Cleveland's starting small forward. He had previously been a power forward in Chicago, but a crowded frontcourt in Cleveland moved him to small forward, and while his individual stats haven't been particularly impressive, his team is playing fairly well. The 4-4 Cavaliers have been far more competitive this season after adding Markkanen, No. 3 overall pick Evan Mobley and veteran point guard Ricky Rubio, but losing Markkanen and Love for a few games will be their first major obstacle of the season. 

If the time frame here is indeed 10 days, Markkanen would be in line to miss six games. Cleveland hosts Portland on Wednesday and follows that contest up with games against the Raptors, Knicks, Wizards, Pistons and Celtics in the next 10 days. Love, who entered the protocols on Monday, should return sooner, but for now, the Cavaliers will have to soldier on with a limited frontcourt.