Chicago Bulls: Potential penalties from Lonzo Ball deal hurt Pels

Last month, the Chicago Bulls‘ front office made some sizable moves to reshape the outlook and image for this franchise for likely what will be years to come. Executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley started off the free agency negotiation window last month with a bang by getting a sign-and-trade deal done with the New Orleans Pelicans that really set off a chain of big transactions for the Bulls this offseason.

That deal with the Pelicans helped the Bulls to get the point guard of the future in restricted free agent and former UCLA Bruin Lonzo Ball by way of a sign-and-trade. The Bulls shipped off combo guard Tomas Satoransky, veteran shooting guard Garrett Temple, and some future draft capital to the Pelicans for the return of Lonzo.

This led to the Bulls continuing to stay active in free agency in that same week of the negotiation window. The Bulls also made a big-time sign-and-trade deal to get star shooting guard/forward DeMar DeRozan from the San Antonio Spurs for a hefty return of veterans and more future draft capital. It was also notable that the Bulls made the move to sign former Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso to a four-year contract that same week.

Chicago Bulls deal to get Lonzo Ball from the Pelicans delayed negotiations elsewhere

Yet, how fast the Bulls and Pelicans had this sign-and-trade deal reported literally almost at the exact moment of the free agency negotiation window opening in early August caused some speculation and hesitation from the NBA. A tampering investigation was put into place concerning this Lonzo sign-and-trade involving the Bulls and Pelicans.

And this week on the “Lowe Post Podcast”, ESPN’s Bobby Marks reported that he heard about guard Josh Hart’s contract taking so long to form together thanks to the “holding pattern” and “potential penalties” from the NBA pertaining to the Lonzo trade.

The Pelicans did eventually wind up re-signing Hart to a three-year contract worth a little north of $37 million. But Hart was available in free agency for a good while before he reupped with the Pelicans.

Lonzo and the Bulls are set to open up Training Camp in less than one week now, specifically on Sep. 28. And then, the Bulls open up the preseason slate on Oct. 5 at home at the United Center against the Cleveland Cavaliers.