The Chicago Bulls entered draft day without a selection but traded two future second-rounders to jump in at 35 overall. They took Julian Phillips out of Tennessee, but the biggest news out of the Windy City came from vice president Arturas Karnisovas’ press conference.
He defended the Nikola Vucevic trade that cost them the 11th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and let fans know that they do not expect Lonzo Ball to play next season. The 25-year-old point guard just had his third knee surgery since his last game in January of 2022, and there are fears that he may never play again.
How should the Bulls react to that news? The offseason is just beginning, and it is a crucial one in Chicago that will shape their franchise for years to come. The Bulls are not satisfied being two games under .500 and barely reaching the Play-In Tournament, but how can they improve?
Moves Chicago Bulls must make after Lonzo Ball news
5. Choose a path
The Bulls have to decide to run it back or enter a total rebuild. They have $118.9 million committed in salaries for next season before re-signing Nikola Vucevic, Coby White, Ayo Dosunmu, Patrick Beverley, or Derrick Jones Jr., who are all free agents.
Chicago has nine players under contract and won’t have cap space unless they trade Zach LaVine or DeMar DeRozan. There have been LaVine rumblings, but there does not appear to be traction. The Bulls asking price is high, and no team has been willing to meet it yet.
Without dealing LaVine, the Bulls are likely to run it back. For fans hoping they enter a rebuild, check out the moves they should make here. If Chicago tries to stay in contention, they have a busy offseason ahead.