1. Lonzo Ball
After deciding to undergo a third knee surgery earlier this year in March, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that Lonzo Ball is expected to miss “most, if not all, of the 2023-24 season”. We’ve seen how this team has faired without their point guard for the last two years now, and I don’t expect things to get much better without him once again in 2023-24.
At this point, it’s less of a question of whether or not he’ll make a return to the Bulls, but rather if he’ll ever even be able to play basketball professionally again — regardless of whatever optimism Arturas Karnisovas may hold about the situation.
Lonzo Ball’s significant injury history may make him a virtually untradeable asset for the Bulls.
It’s impossible to say just what interest Lonzo would have drawn up on the market before this news broke, but it’s certainly enough to scare teams away now. Ball holds virtually no value as a trade asset now; even if he did make a full recovery, by that time he’ll already be a free agent again at the end of next season.
At this point in time, there’s simply no reason for any team to have any interest in Ball other than to use his contract for salary-matching purposes.
In fact, saying Lonzo holds no value may actually be doing him a favor. Set to be paid $20.5 million next year, with a player option for $21.4 million in 2024-25, Ball is actually actively hurting this team and is a net negative when it comes to helping this team win games. With so much money tied up in paying a player to rehabilitate his injuries, the odds are already against the Bulls as they try to field a competitive roster.